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The yokai known for warding off plagues- "Amabie" is made into Hakata doll!

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The warm-hearted look that cheer you up!

Have you been told about the yokai (Japanese ghosts) "Amabie" that is going viral on the internet, which is believed to possess the ability to ward off plagues? As COVID-19 has become more serious throughout the world, the Hakata doll inspired by Amabie is made with the prayer of bringing an end to this pandemic. Amabie is known in Higo no Kuni (Kumamoto Prefecture) from the Edo period as a half man-half fish yokai. It is believed that it appeared to deliver a message: "Shall there be a plague in the future, show a picture of me to those who fall ill." and then returned to the sea. The creator of the doll is Tobata Moshiro, a Hakata doll artist as well as dento-kougeishi (lit.: Japanese traditional craftsman) from Nakagawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Amabie was portrayed as a creature with rhombic eyes and a beak-like mouth in the Edo Period drawings, however, the feature made by Mr. Tobata shows Amabie in bright-coloured scales and a genial-looking face which gives a warm image. It is refined as any other Hakata dolls known for the delicacy of the artwork. The Amabie dolls are now available, let's pray for an end to COVID-19! (Editorial Dept.: Nika)
Kawara-ban (tile block print) that reveals the appearance of Amabie.
Owned by Kyoto University, Kyoto University Library Collection



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