Kitarou is a yokai boy born in a cemetery, and aside from his mostly-decayed father, the last living member of the Ghost tribe (幽霊族 yūrei zoku). He is missing his left eye, but his hair usually covers the empty socket. He fights for peace between humans and yokai, which generally involves protecting the former from the wiles of the latter. His hair is a grayish silver (except for the 2007/2008 incarnation of him which has brown hair. This leads to speculation that this is a complete different Kitaro). His black and yellow vest is made out of the hair of his ancestors.
Kitaro has an assortment of strange weapons at his disposal, including:
* remote-controlled geta sandals
* a detachable hand, also remote-controlled
* a magic chanchanko vest which can protect its wearer from danger
* Spiny hairs which can be shot like arrows
* Another hair which can serve as an antenna for detecting spirit activity
* A magical ocarina (usually used for calling Ittan Momen), which contains a baton, a whip and occasionally music which has the power to damage certain ghosts.
Kitaro has been the icon for many things yokai in Japan since his initial appearance in the 1960's, from statues being built of him to his own "Yokai museums", much like how Gundam is the icon for many things military or robot Japan.
The Oldest (in terms of age not vintage) incarnation of Kitaro seen would be the Kitaro in the 2006/2007 Gegege no Kitaro Live Action Movie where he is a young adult with the appearance between the ages of 18-24.