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Kasa-Obake
Kasa-Obake.jpg
Map of japan.png
Background
Type Yokai
First Sighting Unknown
Last Sighting Unknown
Country Japan
Habitat Near where people live
Possible Population Unknown

The Kasa-Obake, also called Karakasa-Obake, Kasa-Bake, or Karakasa Kozo, is an umbrella ghost, or yokai, originating from Japanese folklore.

Description

The Kasa-Obake is an old or broken umbrella that turned into a ghost, usually with one eye, one leg, and a long tongue. Other variations depict it with arms and two feet. It is a part of category of yokai known a tsukumogami, which are ordinary objects that gain a soul and come to life after a hundred years. Unlike many yokai, the Kasa-Obake is relatively harmless, and enjoys scaring people for fun, licking them with its long tongue.

Though there may be some who truly believe in this animated umbrella, it's mostly thought of as a metaphor, used to explain how objects gain character and personality (a "soul") as they age. Often meant to discourage thoughtless disposal of objects that have a long history and still have use within them.

Similar Legends

There are two similar legends to the Kasa-Obake in Japan. One comes from the Higashiwa region where on rainy nights a umbrella would appear in valleys and those who see it, would cower and not be able to move their feet.

The other legend comes from Tottori, Japan. A yokai known as "Yureigasa" (meaning "ghost umbrella") would blow people up into the sky on windy days. It shares a similar appearance to the Kasa-Obake, having one eye and one foot.

In Popular Media

The Kasa-Obake is a popular yokai shown in various Japanese anime, manga and video game series. Some examples include:

  • In Gegege no Kitaro, Kase-Bake is a recurring character in the series.
  • In Yokai Watch, yokai Pallysol (Karakase-Obake in Japanese) and Brokenbrella (Sakasakkasa in Japanese) are based on the legend.
  • In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, a Kasa-Obake enemy known as "Umbrelloid" is present in the second level of Pumpkin Zone.
  • In Touhou Project, an anthropomorphized Kasa-Obake named Kogasa Tatara is a character in the series.
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