The term Obake has a few translations. It’s a Japanese word that is often loosely translated as ghost. This term is most prevalent in Hawaii (of all places). It’s mostly due to the large Japanese influence on the island. But in a more general sense, it translates as thing that changes shape with a very ephemeral supernatural feel. Whether it’s a dog, a ghost or some other supernatural shape shifting, this is considered Obake.
Lets see a few examples. This first item is a book from the Hawaiian folklorist Glen Grant. He is well known for documenting ghost sightings and other supernatural activities on the island. This particular item is an autographed copy. Hot.
This is a Secret Base figure. It’s a very literal translation of Obake. This one is an obvious ghost motif. Call me crazy, but these colors are hot. I would gladly put this dude on my desk. Very patriotic looking, if I do say.
Next up is the Secret Base Obake Dog. This is obviously not a ghost, but rather the other translation, “thing that changes shape” to something dog-like. This was a special Toy Tokyo SDCC release back in 2006. I love the colors on the dog head. Great look.
There you have it. If you have any other Obake stories or references, I’d love to hear them.