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Kasa-obake is a mythical ghost or yōkai in Japanese folklore. It is sometimes, but not always, considered a tsukumogami that old umbrellas turn into. The Kasa-obake has one eye, one leg, and a long tongue. Other variations depict it with arms and two feet.

According to Japanese folklore, the Kasa-obake is an old or broken umbrella that turned into a ghost. It is usually depicted with a single large eye, a long tongue, and one or two legs. The Kasa-obake is known for its mischievous nature and playful pranks.

The Kasa-obake has been featured in various forms of media, including movies, anime, and video games. It has become a popular subject in Japanese pop culture and continues to fascinate people around the world. Despite its playful nature, the Kasa-obake remains a mysterious and intriguing creature that continues to capture the imagination of many.

Origins of Kasa-obake

Mythological Roots

Kasa-obake is a mythical ghost or yōkai in Japanese folklore. According to legends, they are umbrellas that have been possessed by spirits and come to life. The origins of Kasa-obake are rooted in the belief that every object has a soul, and if an object is neglected or mistreated, it can become a yokai. The concept of tsukumogami, which is the belief that objects come to life after 100 years, is also associated with Kasa-obake.

Cultural Significance

Kasa-obake has a significant cultural significance in Japan. They are often depicted as playful and mischievous creatures that are not harmful to humans. They are also considered to be good luck charms and are believed to bring good fortune to households. In Japanese art and literature, Kasa-obake is often depicted as a whimsical and colorful creature that is hopping around on a single leg. They are also a popular subject in Japanese folklore and are often featured in stories and plays.

Overall, the origins of Kasa-obake are rooted in Japanese folklore and culture. They are a unique and fascinating creature that is beloved by many in Japan.

Physical Description

Kasa-obake, also known as Karakasa-obake, Kasa-bake, or Karakasa Kozo, are a type of yokai that are believed to be old or broken umbrellas that have transformed into ghosts. They are often depicted as having one eye, one foot, and a long tongue. Some variations of the Kasa-obake have two feet and arms.

Kasa-obake are typically depicted as playful and mischievous spirits that enjoy pranking humans. They are known for their unique physical traits, such as their single eye and foot. They are often depicted wearing traditional Japanese clothing, such as a kimono or happi coat.

In Japanese folklore, Kasa-obake are often classified as tsukumogami, which are ordinary objects that have become animated after reaching a certain age. The Kasa-obake is said to come to life after 100 years of existence.

Overall, Kasa-obake are fascinating creatures that have left a cultural impact on Japan. Their unique appearance and playful nature have made them a popular subject in Japanese art and media.

Kasa-obake in Folklore

Tales and Stories

Kasa-obake, also known as karakasa-obake, are a type of yōkai, or supernatural creature, in Japanese folklore. These mythical ghosts are said to be old umbrellas that have turned into mischievous spirits. According to legends, they are known to appear on rainy nights, hopping around on a single leg and using their long tongue to lick people’s faces.

One popular tale tells the story of a man who was walking home on a rainy night when he saw an old umbrella lying on the ground. As he picked it up, the umbrella suddenly sprouted a single leg and a long tongue, transforming into a kasa-obake. The man was so terrified that he ran away, leaving the kasa-obake to hop after him.

Symbolism and Morals

In Japanese culture, the kasa-obake is seen as a symbol of transformation and the impermanence of material objects. The idea that an inanimate object can come to life and take on a new form is a common theme in Japanese folklore. The kasa-obake is also said to represent the dangers of greed and materialism, as people who become too attached to their possessions may end up transforming into yōkai themselves.

Overall, the kasa-obake is a fascinating creature that has captured the imagination of the Japanese people for centuries. While it may seem like a harmless prankster, its symbolism and deeper meanings reveal a complex and nuanced cultural significance.

Representation in Media


Kasa-obake has been a popular subject in Japanese literature for centuries. It is often depicted as a mischievous spirit that inhabits everyday objects, such as umbrellas. One of the most famous works of literature featuring Kasa-obake is the “Hyakki Yagyo Emaki,” a scroll of illustrations that depicts various yokai, including Kasa-obake.

Film and Television

Kasa-obake has also made numerous appearances in Japanese films and television shows. One of the most notable examples is the 1968 film “Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters,” which features Kasa-obake as one of the main characters. In this film, Kasa-obake is portrayed as a friendly and playful spirit that helps the protagonist defeat the evil yokai.

Video Games

Kasa-obake has been featured in several video games, including the popular “Monster Hunter” series. In these games, Kasa-obake is often portrayed as a powerful and dangerous enemy that the player must defeat in order to progress through the game. However, some games also feature Kasa-obake as a friendly and helpful character that can assist the player on their quest.

Overall, Kasa-obake has had a significant impact on Japanese popular culture, appearing in a wide variety of media over the years. Whether portrayed as mischievous, friendly, or dangerous, Kasa-obake remains a beloved and enduring figure in Japanese folklore.

Artistic Depictions

The Kasa-obake has been a popular subject of Japanese art for centuries. It has been depicted in various forms, including paintings, prints, and sculptures. The Kasa-obake is often portrayed as a comical and mischievous spirit, with a single eye and a long tongue sticking out of its mouth.

One of the most famous depictions of the Kasa-obake is in the scroll painting “Hyakki Yagyo-zu” by Kano Toun. The painting depicts a parade of yokai, including the Kasa-obake, marching through the streets at night. The Kasa-obake in the painting is shown with a wide grin and a playful expression, holding a small drum in one hand.

In more recent times, the Kasa-obake has been depicted in anime and manga. One popular example is the character “Kerberos” from the anime “Cardcaptor Sakura”. Kerberos is a Kasa-obake who serves as a guardian of the Clow Cards.

Overall, the Kasa-obake has been a beloved subject of Japanese art for centuries, and its playful and mischievous nature continues to captivate audiences today.

Modern Interpretations

Kasa-obake has remained a popular subject in modern Japanese pop culture, appearing in various forms of media including anime, manga, and video games. One example is the popular anime series “GeGeGe no Kitaro,” which features a recurring character named Nurikabe who is a Kasa-obake. Similarly, the video game “Monster Hunter Rise” features a monster called Tetranadon, which is inspired by the Kasa-obake.

In addition to its appearances in pop culture, the Kasa-obake has also been a source of inspiration for contemporary artists. Some artists have created their own interpretations of the Kasa-obake, using a variety of mediums such as painting and sculpture. These interpretations often add new elements to the traditional depiction of the Kasa-obake, such as incorporating other yokai or changing the creature’s appearance.

Overall, the enduring popularity of the Kasa-obake in modern Japanese culture is a testament to its status as a beloved and iconic yokai. Its playful and mischievous nature continues to captivate audiences, and its enduring cultural impact ensures that it will remain a fixture in Japanese folklore for years to come.

Festivals and Celebrations

Kasa-obake is a popular yokai in Japanese folklore and culture. It is often depicted as an animated umbrella with one eye, a long tongue, and a single leg. Due to its playful nature, Kasa-obake is celebrated in various festivals and events throughout Japan.

One such festival is the Sanno Matsuri, which takes place in Tokyo every two years. During this festival, a giant Kasa-obake made of bamboo and paper is paraded through the streets. The festival also features traditional Japanese music, dance performances, and food stalls.

Another festival that celebrates Kasa-obake is the Akita Kanto Festival, which takes place in Akita City. During this festival, performers balance long poles with lanterns attached to the top, resembling Kasa-obake. The festival also includes taiko drumming, dance performances, and street vendors selling local delicacies.

In addition to festivals, Kasa-obake is also a popular motif in Japanese art and design. It can be found on various products such as clothing, accessories, and home decor. Its playful and mischievous nature has made it a beloved character in Japanese culture.

Similar Yokai Entities

Kasa-obake is a popular yokai entity in Japanese folklore, but it is not the only one. Here are some other similar yokai entities that are worth mentioning:

  • Karura: This is a mythical creature that is half-human and half-bird. It is often depicted as a fierce warrior that is capable of breathing fire and has razor-sharp talons. Karura is considered to be a symbol of justice and is often associated with Buddhism.

  • Tengu: Tengu is another popular yokai creature that is often depicted as a bird-like creature with a long nose. It is known for being mischievous and is often associated with forests and mountains. Tengu is also considered to be a protector of the Buddhist faith.

  • Oni: Oni is a type of demon that is often depicted as having horns and a fierce expression. It is considered to be a symbol of evil and is often associated with the underworld. However, in some cases, Oni is also seen as a protector against evil spirits.

These yokai entities are just a few examples of the rich and varied folklore that can be found in Japan. Each one has its own unique characteristics and stories, making them fascinating subjects for study and exploration.