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The Kappa is the most vampire-like creature in Japanese folklore. It was described as creatures of the waters. It appeared as an unattractive, humanlike child with greenish-yellow skin, webbed fingers and toes, and somewhat like a monkey with a long nose and round eyes. The kappa even had a shell-like a tortoise and a concave head that held water. If the water in its head spilled, the Kappa would lose its strength.

Kappas lived around the edge of water. Many stories describe them as grabbing horses and cows and attempting to drag them under water to drink the blood from their anuses. However, they have been known to leave the water to steal melons and cucumbers, rape women, and to attack people for their livers.

Kappas were viewed as a part of the rural landscape. They were not attacked by the humans, but an occasional kappa would strike a deal with humans.