A monster with a leg, an umbrella head, a red eye and, a sandal… I present you Karakasa-Obake! Have you heard of Karakasa-Obake?
Karakasa-Obake [からかさ小僧] literally means: "Paper umbrella monster" or called "Umbrella monster made of paper" is a monster of the Japanese folklore very popular in Japan.
The Karakasa-obake, then, was an old umbrella, abandoned or neglected by the owners, who after 99 years of existence became a Tsukumogami, a kind of Bakemono (monster), a type of youkai, a supernatural oriental creature.
The 99 years is symbolic. It indicates, a long period of forgetting and abandonment. It is customary to take objects for personal use that are no longer wanted or used in Shinto temples to be safely discarded, so that they do not become Tsukumogamis and come to haunt you later.
He is usually portrayed as having a single eye and a long tongue. It may or may not have two arms, which come out of the "hat", and its handle is replaced by a long leg that wears a geta, a type of Japanese sandal made of wood. Some older drawings depict him with a single eye, without arms, and two legs, without the sandal.
In the Hyakki Yagyō, illustrated scroll of one hundred night monsters, the monster is reported as a humanoid figure, whose head would have the shape of a traditional closed umbrella, very different from the description of Karakasa known today.
Apparently, the appearance of the tongue and only one eye started to become popular thanks to the contact with the Portuguese and, mainly by the beginning of the 20th century during the Taisho period, when the monster started to become widely known as one leg due to its design to appear originally in Portuguese letters. Similar to our western decks. this type of deck are called in Japan Karuta (かるた).
Karakasa in the anime "Vampire + Rosario"
In modern times, when Karakasa is represented in films or cartoons, it almost always has a harmless and silly character. when it scares human characters it is more due to the surprise for its sudden unexpected appearance than for its monstrous appearance.
Yôkai hyaku monogatari (1968)
Let's agree that he is not that scary. But I wouldn't want one of those at home.
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Source: aoikuwan, japancultpopbr