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Carefree Father is an old, bespectacled man in a bowler hat, patterned kimono, and black haori overcoat, who loves having fun and shirks work whenever he can. One day he finds himself in a turtle taxi, which takes him underwater to the palace of the Dragon King. There, he is feted and entertained by the Dragon King's beautiful daughter and her geisha-like serving girls, but the allure soon fades, and he asks to be allowed to return home. As he leaves, the Dragon King's daughter gives him a casket that he should not open, but once home the curious old man is unable to resist peering inside. A demon jumps out and demands that he pay his palace bill. Realizing it was only a dream, Carefree Father resolves to work harder, in a modern refashioning of Urashima Taro (see Japanese Folk Tales).
"Carefree Father" was the first true manga icon, a comedy figure created by Yutaka Aso for the Hochi Shinbun newspaper in January 1924. He enjoyed immense success in a Japan struggling to recover from the catastrophic Great Kanto Earthquake. Carefree Father's popularity was aided greatly by the absence of any copyright enforcement on cartoon characters at the time, spinning off into dolls, character goods, and this one-reel movie, none of which appear to have involved the character's original creator, either creatively or in the sharing of the profits. However, such issues only applied in the world of comics-music copyright enforcement was already much stricter, as the makers of Madame Butterfly would discover to their cost.