Friday, June 29, 2012

Karakasa-Obake


What you really need to contemplate when the weather is grim and dreary is a possessed parasol. A Karakasa-Obake (or Kasa Obake or Kasa Kozo) is a Japanese umbrella of such a character and is one of my favourite types of Tsukumogami (objects that become animate whenthey reach the age of 100).

They usually have one eye and a long, leery tongue and tend to be one-legged with their handle-foot slipped into a solitary geta sandle. My own personal terrifying experience with a collection of flying karakasa came at the very beginning of the excellent SNES videogame The Legend of the Mystical Ninja where the ghastly parasols plague the ghost-invaded Temple of Horo. I've written about, sketched up and eulogised in haiku my affection for this eccentric kind of yōkai before. When the clouds start to gather, remember the parasol spirits of Japanese folklore and watch out for their malign flight...

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