Package promises three “butthole balls” in each box!

One of the things that makes curry great is how versatile it is. Really, you can use just about anything you have on hand as toppings. Carrots, potatoes, and onions are the standard in Japan, but strips of stewed beef, pork cutlets, chunks of chicken, and even tuna are easy ways to add extra protein. Popular vegetarian options include cheese, spinach, and other assorted vegetables,

But one brand of instant curry from Hyogo Prefecture gives prominent billing to something we’ve never heard of being associated with curry before: shirikodama, or orbs that, according to Japanese folktales, exist inside humans’ buttholes.

Legends say that shirikodama were coveted by kappa, a type of mythical creature often referred to as a “water imp” in English translations. With their beaks, shells, and bald spots, modern-era kappa are often depicted as friendly, or at least silly, beings.

However, the Hyogo town of Fukusaki, whose local tourism association came up with the idea for shirikodama curry, is committed to maintaining the frightening aesthetics of old-school kappa horror stories. This is, after all, the town where a mechanical kappa rises from a park pond to scare visitors multiple times a day, and which also chose the terrifying kappa character Gajiro as its local mascot, as a nod to the town being the birthplace of famed folklorist Kunio Yanagita, whose writings included tales of kappa.

▼ Gajiro, taking a break from his busy schedule of doing what he does best…

▼ …frightening small children.

Now, if all this has you intrigued about Kappa Curry with Shirikodama (which can be ordered through Amazon Japan here for 570 yen [US$5.15] a pack) but you’re not quite sure if you’re ready for such an imposing culinary challenge, you can take solace in the fact that shirikodama exist exclusively in Japanese folktales. So as a real-world substitute, the curry instead uses quail eggs. Those still might not be something you’re used to eating but you have to admit they sound far less frightening than magical anal orbs, so really, the only thing to be scared of here is Gajiro’s grotesque appearance.

Source: Fukusaki Tourism Association
Top image: Amazon Japan/福崎町観光協会
Insert images: Amazon Japan/福崎町観光協会, Irasutoya
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he was planning on eating curry for lunch, but is now having second thoughts.

[ Read in Japanese ]