A Kakashi (案山子 (かかし)) is a Japanese scarecrow; a humanoid decoy or mannequin that is placed in open fields to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.
A modern and uniquely Japanese form of scarecrow are yellow plastic balloons with one black "eye". These balloons are representations of the kami spirit Amatsumara; the one-eyed kami of ironworking who comes to the fields to protect them before the harvest.
- Some villages have scarecrow festivals and competitions.
- In the Edo period, this word was pronounced "kagashi", meaning something that smells heinously, because the farmers used to hang up rotten fish or hides from animals before using humanoid stand-ins. Some villages still use this practise.
- In Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan (compiled in the year 712), a scarecrow known as Kuebiko appears as a deity who cannot walk, yet knows everything about the world.