The scarecrow originated from the need to protect fields, and its first mention in recorded history comes from Egypt, where farmers installed in their fields wood frames covered with nets. They hid in their fields and scared the birds into the nets, taking them home and having them for dinner.
The Japanese scarecrow dates to pre-feudal Japan and looked similar to its contemporary cousin. The "kakashi" was a collection of rags and bells assembled on a wood frame and fitted with a hat. They would often wield weapons, such as a bow and arrow, and were sometimes lit on fire. The word "kakashi" means "something stinky."