Kogasa Tatara

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多々良 (たたら) 小傘 (こがさ)
Kogasa Tatara
tataɽa koɡasa (♫)
Kogasa Tatara
Kogasa Tatara in Ten Desires
The Cheery Forgotten Umbrella
More Character Titles
Species

Karakasa obake

Abilities

Surprising humans

Occupation

Scaring Humans

Location

Human Village[1], Myouren Temple[1] (Cemetery[2]), Hakurei Shrine[1], Moriya Shrine[1]

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Kogasa Tatara (多々良 小傘 Tatara Kogasa) is a karakasa obake whose sole purpose is to surprise people. However, she hasn't been very successful so far. She encounters the heroine on their way to catch up with the flying object on a mission to scare her, but it doesn't work. She was once a normal umbrella in the outside world; forgotten by her owner, and no one else claimed her because the colour was unpopular at the time. As time went on, the wind swept her away to Gensokyo and she became a youkai. According to her profile in Undefined Fantastic Object, she is currently reading up on classic ghost stories in order to improve her scaring technique.

General Information[edit]

Kogasa first appeared as the second stage boss and midboss of Undefined Fantastic Object with the boss theme "Beware the Umbrella Left There Forever", and was later a target on Stage 3 of Double Spoiler. After, she became the stage 3 midboss of Ten Desires and was one of the many background characters shown in Hopeless Masquerade. Additionally, she made cameo appearances in the manga Oriental Sacred Place and Wild and Horned Hermit, along with having her own article in Symposium of Post-mysticism.

Personality[edit]

As stated in ZUN's Undefined Fantastic Object music comments, Kogasa is a cheery happy youkai, but gets easily depressed when things don't go her way (which is very often), typically when she fails to surprise someone despite her best efforts. She stated she wishes for vengeance on humans for being discarded in Undefined Fantastic Object. However, she's actually quite friendly to humans and her vengeance doesn't go beyond surprising and spooking humans. She gets genuinely pleased when she successfully surprises someone (or thinks she successfully surprised someone).

She despises not being taken seriously. She often attacks the protagonist in Undefined Fantastic Object in a fit of despair when she thinks they're making fun of her. She's displeased with children liking her eccentric design.

Kogasa suffers from self-esteem problems, as she is easily pushed into lamenting about wondering what her purpose is, or that she might be better off if she just went back to being an umbrella. Perhaps due to this, Kogasa is seeking a true purpose of existence for youkai, tsukumogami, and herself. She attempted this by starting a career in babysitting (which did not seem to go very well), surprising people (which also isn't going very well, though she's found some success in the Myouren Temple graveyard), and was even considering going back to being an umbrella just so she can be useful in that regard. She's stated that she's trying to imagine what humans want, and then plans on becoming that something they can use.[1] Deep down, it appears this pitiable illegally dumped object and troubled forgotten item just wants to be desired.

Her depression may also be another attempt at getting attention. She can get so depressed upon failing to surprise someone that it can become "a bother". In Undefined Fantastic Object, Reimu Hakurei wonders if Kogasa just wanted to be beaten up. That Kogasa ironically treats umbrellas like garbage by throwing them in certain spell cards leads Hatate Himekaidou to wonder if she wants to be treated like garbage, herself.

Unlike other youkai, Kogasa doesn't eat humans. Instead, she eats their spirit. In her own words, if she doesn't surprise someone, she'll go hungry. In the past, humans apparently feared youkai enough that she'd get a huge portion of their spirit on a successful surprise, as according to Kogasa in Undefined Fantastic Object, even a slight surprise would make a human have difficulty walking straight. This is apparently no longer the case in the present day.

Ability[edit]

Surprising humans

This ability to surprise humans does not appear to be an actual ability beyond what anyone could do, but it's her prime occupation. Kogasa's observed attempts to surprise anyone hasn't really consisted of much more than her screaming "Boo!" or simply attacking someone if pressed. It is the same ability that Chen has without shikigami (ability to the extent of surprising people), so just like with Chen, it might not be an ability of any substance. Also, there doesn't seem to be any humans that have recently come to be surprised, and whatever she does, it is like it is still trial and error. So far, in the things she said in the game, it has come off as more cute than surprising.

Hatate Himekaidou notes that she hides in the darkness to attempt to surprise people, but her hiding places are obvious. Hieda no Akyuu describes her attempts as child's play, to the point where the greater "threat" from her is how bothersome it can be to deal with her after she gets depressed by her failure to surprise someone. It's sometimes better to just pretend to be surprised in order to please her. Considering this, maybe Kogasa is unable to discern between genuine and fake shock, despite how she feeds by surprising people. It is unknown if a person pretending to be surprised provides her with any sustenance, although it does make her happy.

However, Kogasa seems to have some interesting interactions with the fourth wall, such as: her stated failure to defeat Yoshika Miyako in Ten Desires due to a "time out"; her appearance on the Undefined Fantastic Object CD saying "Surprise~" (おどろけー odoroke~) despite being stated by ZUN to not be involved with the story; her appearance as the Undefined Fantastic Object extra-stage mid-boss despite not having any relation to the story, which comes complete with a "Surprise!" sound effect to hammer the point home (the only extra-stage mid-boss in the series with no real involvement in the story); and dropping the first full power-up in Ten Desires upon her defeat. It is unknown if this is an in-story canon ability or just an out-of-story running gag.

Backstory[edit]

According to Kogasa's conversation with Sanae in Undefined Fantastic Object, as far as Kogasa could tell, she was an umbrella that was thrown out by her original owner because her design was a little off. Eventually, she was blown away with the wind. Unwanted and undesired, the divine spirit residing within the umbrella became angered after being abandoned. Hoping to get back at the human that threw her out, Kogasa became a youkai. She then (badly) modified her own appearance to look more ferocious and youkai-like, and her quest for revenge on humanity (by surprising them!) had begun.

It is unknown when Kogasa was first abandoned as an umbrella to become a tsukumogami. However, she's expressed to Reimu how she misses the old days when youkai ruled the night, and when even slightly surprising a person made them unable to walk straight. Reimu finds her "old-time" stories uninteresting, and Marisa Kirisame comments that Kogasa is "really behind the times." This would imply that Kogasa has been around for a long time.

Character Design[edit]

Kogasa as depicted in Symposium of Post-mysticism

Name[edit]

Her full name is Kogasa Tatara (多々良 小傘). The characters for Kogasa (小傘) mean "little umbrella". Tatara (踏鞴) is the traditional Japanese method of smelting iron. Many workers lost an eye checking the colour of the fire to measure its temperature and/or a leg pushing the tatara furnaces. They wore geta to avoid the heat of floor which brought about the tale of the Ippon Datara, a one-eyed, one-legged youkai that somewhat resembles a karakasa obake.[3] Hieda no Akyuu states that Kogasa modified the appearance of her umbrella to resemble this youkai, and believes she derives her name from it.[1]

Design[edit]

Kogasa has turquoise hair, one turquoise eye and one red eye. The design purpose of her eyes is likely to be retaining the appearance of Karakasa obake, which is an one-eyed youkai, by blending her right eye into her hair that has the same color, and to high-light the left-red eye as an one-eyed one. She wears a blue-green vest with white sleeves and a light blue skirt. She holds a purple umbrella with an eye and a tongue protruding from it.

Kogasa has been referred to as both: an Umbrella, and an Ghost Umbrella. The umbrella and the girl are actually the same being; she modified the appearance of the umbrella to make herself look more ferocious.

Story[edit]

Games[edit]

Undefined Fantastic Object
Kogasa's sprite in UFO

Kogasa's role in Undefined Fantastic Object is rather limited. In Stage 2, she appears twice, trying to surprise the heroine, who doesn't particularly want anything to do with her, as she is slowing her pursuit of the flying object. They engage in a high-speed aerial battle that inevitably ends with Kogasa's defeat and the heroine's arrival at the flying object. Also inevitably, she misinterprets what the heroine says as the answer to how to surprise humans. She returns in the extra stage under the assumption that it being night is enough to scare humans, and is defeated once again by the heroine. As such, she is the only character that is completely unrelated to the story in Undefined Fantastic Object, as well as the only unrelated character to be in an Extra Stage.

Kogasa notices Reimu chasing the treasure ship. Commenting that she's had lots of free time lately, she asks Reimu if she could "play" with her for a bit while chasing the ship. Reimu comments that it must be nice to be a youkai with spare time, even if they did exist just to be exterminated. However, with so many youkai around, Reimu doesn't have time to exterminate every one. Kogasa laments that humans are no fun, and really should plan extra time into their schedule for playing around, to which Reimu remarks that extra time is pointless. The umbrella ghost retorts that pointlessness is beautiful, and life would be terrible if everything were just planned out. As an example, Kogasa states that it's not the functionality of a tool that makes it beautiful. It's the useless parts that create a youkai. Frustrated that she's wasting time having a philosophical discussion with an umbrella, Reimu agrees to play with Kogasa and exterminates her, snapping that Kogasa should just fall out of the sky. Afterwards, Kogasa cries about how cruel humans are, at which Reimu points out that Kogasa seemed like she wanted to lose. Reimu is unable to put her finger on what that's called, so Kogasa remarks that she thinks it's sadism. The shrine maiden notes that it's actually the opposite of that, but the ship is now in view, so she thanks Kogasa for taking her there and heads off.

Kogasa notices Reimu chasing the treasure ship. She tells Reimu that it's unusual to see a human flying around like that, so she came to check things out. Commenting that she's been bored lately, Kogasa expresses disappointment that Reimu wasn't surprised by her. The shrine maiden doesn't see why she should be surprised by an umbrella flying around. At this point, Kogasa starts lamenting at how people no longer fear youkai, remembering how long ago even a little surprise from her made people unable to walk straight. Reimu is annoyed at Kogasa's old stories wasting her time, but her request for Kogasa to move aside is interrupted when Kogasa comes to the conclusion that in order to surprise someone today, you had to beat them up, and the umbrella ghost attacks. After being exterminated, Kogasa cries out wondering what exactly youkai are, but Reimu shrugs it off stating that maybe they were just luxury items, and heads off on her way.

Kogasa notices Marisa chasing the treasure ship, and asks her to wait up. Marisa refuses because she wants to reach the ship. Possibly attempting a reverse psychology gambit, Kogasa decides to listen to her request and states she'll leave Marisa alone, then. Getting suspicious at this behavior, Marisa tells Kogasa she'll wait after all, at which point Kogasa quickly reverses her decision to leave, stating she had lots of free time. Marisa asks if Kogasa is a patrol from the ship, and Kogasa replies that she's just a cheerful youkai that likes to surprise people. She commands Marisa to be surprised, but the witch is not impressed, causing Kogasa to cry. Marisa tells Kogasa to get out of the way, but the umbrella ghost decides that she might be able to surprise Marisa by attacking her. This too fails to surprise Marisa, who states that all youkai are just like that. At this, Kogasa cries again, her reason to live as a youkai apparently being a failure. Marisa sarcastically states that what would really surprise her was if Kogasa's umbrella was even capable of protecting her from the rain. Not realizing Marisa was insulting her, Kogasa wonders if she should go back to doing that, at which point Marisa notices the ship and leaves Kogasa behind.

Kogasa notices Marisa chasing the treasure ship, and asks her to wait. Marisa asks what she wants, and the umbrella ghost replies that she was bored, because no one was ever surprised by her anymore. Marisa snarkily comments that a normal umbrella flying in the wind would be scarier than Kogasa because it at least might bump into you. Not realizing Marisa was insulting her, Kogasa decides to try just that, proclaiming that she'll smash Marisa up. After Marisa smashed Kogasa up, Marisa expresses confusion that Kogasa seemed softer than an actual umbrella. Thinking on this, Kogasa realizes that she's soft like konjac jelly, and maybe she could use that to surprise humans! Marisa can only comment that Kogasa is really behind the times.

Kogasa notices Sanae chasing the treasure ship, and asks her to wait up. Sanae asks what she wants, to which Kogasa replies with a "Boo!" The shrine maiden is unable to figure out what Kogasa's doing. Sighing, Kogasa remarks that she's lonely and asks if Sanae could at least be a little surprised, but Sanae states she's used to those things. Depressed, Kogasa explains that youkai were trying their best to surprise humans, but Sanae retorts that what she heard was they were doing their best to eat humans. Kogasa replies that some youkai eat meat, but others eat spirit, and if humans aren't surprised by her, she'll go hungry. Sanae comments that must be harsh, but at least she could see that getting surprised could be fun. She clarifies to a confused Kogasa that it's because youkai hunting was fun, and promptly exterminates the umbrella. Afterwards, a sad Kogasa asks what the point is of a youkai that can't surprise people, and that maybe she should just go back to being an umbrella. Sanae wonders if anyone would want an old umbrella that looks like an eggplant, which just makes Kogasa further depressed as it reminds her that being unwanted was why she became a youkai in the first place. The shrine maiden regrets bringing it up.

Kogasa notices Sanae chasing the treasure ship, and asks her to wait up. Sanae asks what she wants, to which Kogasa replies with a "Boo!" The shrine maiden is unimpressed. She states that ghost umbrellas and "Boo!" were old news, and asks why her umbrella is eggplant colored. Kogasa cries at this, and tells Sanae how she really tried her best to look youkai-like, because she was thrown out by her owner. She wanted to get back at her owner so she became a youkai. Sanae expresses sorrow for Kogasa, but honestly states that if a friend gave her an umbrella like that, she would have refused and just walked home in the rain. Angry that Sanae wouldn't understand her, Kogasa screams that Sanae should just melt in the acid rain and attacks. After Sanae exterminates her, Kogasa snaps that she can't stand it, and threatens that she might just go over and mess up Sanae's shrine. Sanae threatens her right back, stating that such an action would be self-destructive because then she'd have to exterminate Kogasa for real.

Ten Desires

After the events of Undefined Fantastic Object, she has been plotting to go scare Byakuren Hijiri at her newly-built temple. In Ten Desires, she takes to the cemetery adjacent to the Myouren Temple and the surrounding sky, but runs afoul of newcomer Yoshika Miyako. However, after asking the heroine to help her banish Yoshika, she also receives a beating.

Spin-off[edit]

Kogasa in HM
Double Spoiler

In Double Spoiler, kogasa appeared as a stage 3 target, where she uses a few spell cards and had Aya Shameimaru and Hatate Himekaidou take photos of her and her danmaku.

Hopeless Masquerade

Kogasa made a background cameo appearance in Hopeless Masquerade on the Myouren Temple and Youkai Tanuki Forest stage. She is seen hopping with her umbrella.

Literature[edit]

Wild and Horned Hermit

Kogasa was one of the victims of a mysterious attack.

In a later chapter, she approaches Reimu during Kotoyouka with the implicit intent of terrorizing her due to the latter's weakened weapons. It is later revealed that her real reason for doing so is to offer to replace Reimu's needles with her excellent blacksmithing skills, which she eventually does. Reimu, unable to pay the bill, opts to use her new needles on Kogasa instead.

Relationships[edit]

Myouren Temple[edit]

Kogasa has a neutral relationship with Myouren Temple and is not registered as a member of this faction. Her purpose for staying there is to scare the humans that frequently visit its cemetery.[1]

Minor Relationships[edit]

Yoshika Miyako

Yoshika Miyako's presence in the cemetery becomes an unknown threat for Kogasa.

Hakurei Shrine & Moriya Shrine[1]

These locations are listed as places that Kogasa frequents in Symposium of Post-mysticism, but no reason is given. In Undefined Fantastic Object, Kogasa tells Sanae that she is considering going to Sanae's shrine to wreck the place as revenge for Sanae being mean to her, which may indicate a possible reason.

Gallery[edit]

Spell Cards[edit]

Judging by the names and graphics of her danmaku, Kogasa appears to use rain and light attacks in her spell cards (including a rainbow). From a statement by Hatate Himekaidou, the extremely large spinning danmaku orbs that Kogasa throws are actually umbrellas, which creates an awkward sight of an umbrella attacking by throwing other umbrellas. Her train spell cards are actually extremely dense umbrella barages thrown so fast and so close together that they appear to be a train. Her "Karakasa Surprising Flash" seems to be a blinding flash of light. Finally, her "Umbrella Cyclone" spell card and the fact that her rain attacks can be angled may indicate she may use stormy winds as well, but this is uncertain.

Additional Information[edit]

Surprise~
  • She is the only character in Undefined Fantastic Object that has no role in the story.
  • She is the only Touhou character so far to have two different eye colours, known as heterochromia.
  • In Undefined Fantastic Object, she says "Urameshiya", which means to be jealous or bitter, while "ya" is similar to saying desu or da. It's often translated as "I'm envious," or simply "Boo," which has become her catchphrase in fandom.
    • Ghosts, youkai, and possessed objects (such as Karakasa obake) are said to belong to a lower realm in the Six Realms of Buddhist belief. "Urameshiya" is often said by such creatures to express envy towards humans, whose place in the Human Realm affords them less suffering. Thus, "I envy your life!" would be a more appropriate translation, although it tends to be used in the same context as "Boo!"
  • In Symposium of Post-mysticism, she thinks babysitters work similar to Mary Poppins, referencing the book and film.

Fandom[edit]

Official Profiles[edit]

Official Sources[edit]

References[edit]