In Japanese mythology, the Kasa-obake (傘おばけ lit. umbrella ghost) are a variety of yōkai, which according to legend are old umbrellas that upon turning 100 years old become yōkai.

They are thus a type of tsukumogami. They are also known as karakasa-obake (から傘おばけ), karakasa-kozō (唐傘小僧?), kasa-bake (傘化け) or simply karakasa (からかさ).

Kasa-obake's Description

A transformed umbrella that usually jumps with one leg. From the umbrella grows two arms and also an eye. It may also have a long tongue.

In addition, in Kanō Enshin's works "Drawing scroll of the yōkai" and "The parade of the hundred monsters", there is also an example drawn with two legs.

Formerly, in "The Parade of the Hundred Monsters" belonging to the Muromachi era (1333-1573), an umbrella-shaped yōkai appeared, but the umbrella yōkai drawn on the scroll appeared folded and were yōkai with human-shaped faces.

Thus they vary somewhat in form from karakasakozou. Later, the karakasakozou with one eye and one leg appeared in the Edo era (1603-1868).

From the Edo era onwards and in the Monster Cards created during the Taisho era (30/07/1912 - 25/12/1926), the figure of the one-legged karakasakozou appears a lot.

In the Ansei era (11/27/1854 - 3/18/1860) in the sogoroku (board game) "Story of a hundred monsters and enchanted things" is drawn a karakasakozou with one leg.

Among the many inanimate objects that appear in the scroll of "The Parade of a Hundred Monsters" and are well known since the Edo era, special mention should be made of the umbrella yōkai, as it is the best-known household object-shaped yōkai.

After the war, karakasakozou appears a lot in monster cartoons, "monster mansions" (typical amusement park booths) and movies.

Kasa-obake in Popular culture

  • In the Kirby Dreamland 3 games and in the Kirby game UHFR9D there is an enemy called Jumpershoot that is based on the Karakasa, although in the Super Mario Land 2 game in a level of the Pumpkin Zone the Karakasa appears.
  • In The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask the Skull kid's hat is the head of the Karakasa.
  • In the movie 100 Monsters the Karakasa appears.
  • In the twelfth Touhou Project game a Karakasa called Kogasa Tatara appears.
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