Obscure Observations: Mi kasa es su obake

As much as I enjoy art and get addicted to competition shows, there’s no way I wasn’t going to get into the show Ink Master on SpikeTV. The show recently started its third season, and it began with a bang: Contestants all had to give prison-style tattoos to inmates. Of the art that was given, several were what I considered typical, run-of-the-mill tattoo flash art, but one in particular stood out to me.


“How you doin’?”

The inmate had requested a ‘karakasa,’ or “a Japanese demonic umbrella.” While the name and design weren’t ringing any bells, his description did feel familiar to me, for some reason that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Coincidentally, I also happened to be doing some research on a shitton of classic games over the last few weeks, and it just so happened that I recently rediscovered this little tidbit from my childhood:


I love a man in bunny ears.

The creature in question is alternatively known in Japanese as a kasa-obake, which literally translates to “shapeshifting umbrella,” although “obake” is also used to mean “ghost” or “supernatural being”. The screenshot above is from Super Mario Land 2, and was taken in the Pumpkin Zone (aka the Halloween-themed area), which would make a kasa-obake’s presence appropriate.

I never expected that a show like Ink Master would give me a retro experience. It would’ve been cool if the tattoo had been a direct reference to SML2, it’s still cool that there was a connective thread to begin with.


I have no official affiliation with Ink Master or Super Mario Land 2; they belong to SpikeTV and Nintendo, respectively. If I DID have anything to do with them, that’d be pretty badass and I’d be screaming it from the hills.


About Leedzie

Leda "Leedzie" Clark is a writer and game designer with a sharp eye for detail and a kooky sense of humor. She's been a nerd as long as she can remember, and always seems to notice the wrong thing first in any given situation.

Posted on August 5, 2013, in Journalism, News, Obscure Observations, Retro Games, TV, Video Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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