A Most Infamous Yokai: Kasa-obake Tattoos

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A Most Infamous Yokai: Kasa-obake Tattoos

Perhaps one of the famous of yokai, we celebrate this mischievous little guy with a collection of Kasa-obake tattoos!

This lil guy is, perhaps, one of the most infamous of all the yokai in Japanese folklore. For whatever reason, people absolutely adore this character, and we can't help musing why! With this collection of Kasa-obake tattoos, we revisit one of our own favorite ghosts. He's been replicated not only in tattoo culture, but in film, animation, children's books and more! If you haven't checked out the film Yōkai Hyaku Monogatari aka Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters, after browsing through this selection of ink, pull it up on YouTube for free! We promise it won't disappoint. The movie is just about as delightfully weird as you'd expect.

So, who is the ghost that these Kasa-obake tattoos are based on and where does he come from? Kasa-obake is a yokai, or ghost/spirit in Japanese folklore and legends. They are sometimes considered to be a tsukumogami, that is an object, particularly a tool, that has acquired a spirit after a long length of being in existence. Created presumably in the Edo Period, it was probably fashioned after a character seen in Hyakki Yagyo Emaki from the Muromachi period...this one was a humanoid creature with an umbrella on top of its head. Not only do they sometimes inhabit aged, unused objects, but they can also symbolize abandoned houses as well!

We're pretty sure the reason why this particular character resonates with people so much is partly due to the funny idea of a walking umbrella...but his style is certainly stand out. Just looking at these Kasa-obake tattoos, you can see the details that make him such a funny and memorable character. The humor of it really isn't lost on anyone either...can you imagine if one day your old umbrella jumped up and exclaimed just how tired it was of being tossed aside, so it was going to haunt you instead? Gives a whole new meaning to antiques if you ask us...

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