the online database of Japanese folklore

Karakasa kozō


Translation: paper umbrella priest boy
Alternate names: kasa obake, karakasa obake

Appearance: These silly looking yōkai are transformations of Chinese-style oiled-paper umbrellas. They have a single large eye, a long, protruding tongue, and either one or two legs upon which they hop around wildly.

Behavior: Karakasa kozō are not particularly fearsome as far as yōkai go. Their favorite method of surprising humans is to sneak up on them and deliver a large, oily lick with their enormous tongues—which may be traumatic even though it isn’t dangerous. Caution is advised, however. There are other umbrella tsukumogami which are dangerous to humans, and care should be taken not to confuse them with this more playful spirit.

Alphabetical list of yōkai