Draw Amabie to Beat Coronavirus

March 15, 2020 Juju Kurihara Folklore, illustration, Language, news Tags: , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Nowadays two people get together and start talking about this coronavirus. In some places including China, Korea, Iran or Italy, the situation is critical. Japan is having a difficult time and almost all the public schools have been closed. I am worried about my families and friends, especially my grandma who is 94 years old.


While I’ve been seeking the information about the disease, I came across to this image.


“What a terrible drawing” was my first thought then I’ve noticed the text on the right. This is the article of a Kawaraban (瓦版), a newspaper in 1846, late Edo period.


It’s written:

In the ocean of Higo (now Kumamoto prefecture), a thing that illuminates appeared. A public official investigated. It was a yokai called “Amabie”. It predicted a rich harvest in the next six years and told him that he should draw her and show it to others in case of a disease outbreak. Then she disappeared in the water.”


Amabie is drawn in the paper. Long hair, beak-like mouth, scales on the body and three legs. It looks like a weird mermaid. Not a pretty thing but I have to remind you that this is still a yokai, a monster. 


Then how come this ancient yokai has become so popular? 


It was this late February, a scroll shop specialised in yokai tweeted that there is a yokai who said people should draw me and show them to other people to prevent the outbreak. The shop continued, “Yokai illustrators, please draw Amabie


Here are the result. 





These are just a part of them. There are more and hopefully more to come. If you like to draw, please draw and share on SNS. You can also share with us. 


Here is mine.


I hope this situation becomes under control. Staying home is no fun especially when one doesn’t feel bad. But maybe this is the time for us to learn to care about each other and be patient. 






Wikipedia: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%A2%E3%83%9E%E3%83%93%E3%82%A8

Ypayka!!: https://blog.goo.ne.jp/maruku_2009/e/e9ce495d5db396a8e29c99202f986da3

Yokaiwikizukan: http://youkaiwikizukan.hatenablog.com/entry/2013/12/18/172555

Hoffpost: https://www.huffingtonpost.jp/entry/amabie_jp_5e675a75c5b68d61645a5151



  1. Carel moiseiwitsch 3 years Reply

    I will draw Amabie
    Where do i send her?

  2. Beth Parkhurst 3 years Reply

    What a lovely tradition! I will certainly draw her and show my drawing to others.

    Thank you also for your hope that we care about each other. The mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, ends all of his messages about the coronavirus with a reminder for everyone to help out the elderly and disabled people in our community.

    I hope that you, your friends, and your family stay healthy.

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      The situation is severe in many places around the world. It’s time to think about each other. Yes we need to socialy isolated but it doesn’t mean we can’t give hands to your neignbours. 

      I’ve found Amabie by accident and thought it’s a perfect yokai in such a situation we are right now. Please draw her and share it as many people as you can.

      I hope you, your friends and your family stay strong and well. 

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