The karakasa, also known as karakasa-kozō or kasa-obake (which means "umbrella ghost"), is a Japanese fantastic creature with the body of an old oiled-paper Chinese umbrella. It is usually represented as an anthropomorphic being with one eye, an Overly Long Tongue sticking out of a mouth and one leg in place of the handle. Its leg ends either in a clawed foot or a human foot wearing a geta (wooden sandal). It might or might not have arms. The karakasa belongs to the class of youkai known as tsukumogami, discarded household objects that suddenly spring to life when they become 100 years old. It shares several of its physical characteristics with other youkai, particularly hitotsume-kozō (which otherwise resembles a human child rather than an animate umbrella). A rarer variant is the hone-karakasa, which is the spirit of an umbrella damaged by being ripped apart in high winds. Consequently, it has a somewhat fish-like appearance, using the splayed ribs/wings of its former body to fly and coming out during wet, windy weather, signifying truly awful weather is on its way. Even though karakasa, unlike other youkai, are not based on Japanese folktales, their goofy appearance makes them highly popular to draw, and you can almost certainly count on one of them showing up in any work that centers on or features youkai, where they are typically portrayed as Silly Spooks. Japanese-flavored stages in video games often feature umbrella ghosts as minor enemies.
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Anime and Manga
- In Azumanga Daioh, when Osaka gets the idea of doing an obakeyashiki kisaten ("haunted cafe") for the School Festival, she imagines herself in a karakasa costume, struggling to serve tea while hopping on one leg.
- In GeGeGe no Kitaro, the karakasa appears as a minor character, although its appearance varies wildly between versions.
- In Karas, a kasa-obake saves a group of citizens from falling glass.
- In Pom Poko, a few Karakasa can be seen taking part in the somewhat trippy "Ghost Parade" scene.
- In Ranma ½, after Ranma-chan inadvertently makes him fall in love with "her", Tsubasa uses a kasa-obake costume while pursuing Ranma on one rainy day.
- In Rosario + Vampire, the character Kozo Kasahara is a two-legged umbrella ghost.
- The "Minna ame n naka... " (Raindrops Keep Fallin') chapter of Urusei Yatsura has a karakasa called Ataru that is in a feud with a raincloud that is raining only on him. Ataru comes to Sakura for counselling and she realizes that the raincloud tormenting him is its spouse. Ultimately their problems are beyond Sakura's abilities to help and she calls a divorce attorney for the two.
- Show up in the first segment of Short Peace, resentful of being discarded after damage. A travelling repairman fixes them.
- A Karakasa costume pops up in Suite Pretty Cure ♪ for a prank on Ellen/Siren — and later that costume gets turn into a Negatone.
Live Action TV
- Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Monster of the Week of the episode "Karakasa Dance Queen" is a humanoid paper umbrella that tricks two pranksters into getting Saizo, Sekai, and Jiraiya to put on shoes that forces them to dance at her command.
- Likewise, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger had the Youkai Kasabake. Strangely enough, it was made from a fountain pen rather than an umbrella.
- Battle Mania Daiginjou has these appearing in the first stage as Asteroids Monsters.
- BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien: Kasa-obake appear in the background of certain areas in the Supernature, and even have a level named after them.
- The Flintstones: The Rescue Of Dino & Hoppy has these as enemies in a Wutai stage.
- Hana Tāka Daka!? has karakasa as enemies that hover when their tops are open and hop around when they fold up.
- Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja has Karakasa enemies whose special attack of spitting water washes Talismans off Izuna's equipment.
- The Kiki Kai Kai series has recurring umbrella enemies named Kasabee, playing off the Eyelid Pull Taunt. In Pocky & Rocky, their name was translated as Umby.
- Kirby's Dream Land 2 features enemies based on Karakasa called Drifters, although they look more like regular umbrellas who happen to have an eye. There's also a Mini-Boss in both Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 3 called Jumpershoot who looks more the part.
- The Legend of the Mystical Ninja has umbrella ghosts as weak enemies.
- Invoked in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Bandits hide in large umbrellas, and hop around on one foot, to look like spirits and scare their marks.
- Ninja Jajamaru-kun has this as the third type of enemy introduced, called Karakassa. It hops around a lot and occasionally throws geta at the player. The WonderSwan remake, Gansō Jajamaru-kun, compensates for introducing Karakassa at a considerably later stage by having a pair of them (and no other baddies) accompanying the Big Bad when he abducts the princess in the opening cutscene.
- Parodius Da! has a Mini-Boss that consists of a group of karakasa looping around the screen (parodying Iron Maiden from Gradius III) after it starts to rain in a haunted level.
- In the Granzella area "Great Edo of Nippon" in PlayStation Home (where you play as a samurai or other fighter and defeat the monsters invading Edo), the Karakasa are a somewhat common enemy.
- Psychic 5 has umbrella ghosts as common enemies that float back and forth while emitting deadly droplets. However, they have two eyes and none of the traditional physical features.
- Ragnarok Online has a one-eyed umbrella monster called a Karakasa in Amatsu field 1.
- SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos: If she is beaten by Red Arremer, Kasumi Todoh is transformed into a kasa-obake with a coloration resembling her outfit.
- Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti has umbrella ghosts as the outdoor enemies in the secret pagoda level.
- Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has a karakasa enemy called Umbrelloid in the second level of the Pumpkin Zone.
- Tatara Kogasa is a Moe Anthropomorphisation of a karakasa. She's always seen carrying an umbrella that looks like the traditional karakasa (but cuter, of course), which has caused fan confusion about whether the girl or the umbrella is the "main body" or if they're two parts of the same whole.
- Mamizou Futatsuiwa uses a Tanuki disguised as a karakasa as a weapon in Hopeless Masquerade.
- Yo-kai Watch 2 introduces a traditional Karakasa-obake (Pallysol) in Chapter 6 of the game, and also has the two-legged Sakasakkasa (Brokenbrella), which was a modern umbrella unhappily discarded by its owner after storm winds turned it inside out. Both of these are of the wind type.
- One of weapons for Yagyuu in Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is a karakasa called "Umbrella Beast Lickoreena".
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies during the second Episode, a prop Karakasa can be found on Yokai Lane. It isn't alive, even though it rotates quite a bit.
- The mobile Rogue Like Yodanji has the Karakasa as one of its yokai character "classes".
- A karakasa is one of the tsukumogami that attacks Kate Corrigan in Hellboy: Sword of Storms.