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Amabie and the art of protection

Amabie and the art of protection

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Yokai are Japanese spirits who explain or embody a mystery. One famous type of yokai is the amabie, a scaly, three-legged water sprite with long hair that lives in the ocean.

Legend has it that the first amabie appeared to a government official in April of 1846 in the Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan. When the official saw the amabie on the beach, it told him that if a plague or pandemic struck he should show its image to people everywhere and that would protect them from the disease.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, amabie images are having a resurgence on social media. Monica Jacobson is an art teacher at Justin-Siena High School who decided that a study of the amabie would be a perfect quarantine art assignment.

Printed here are four amabie images done by students Kaitlin O’Neil, Gabrielle George, Julisa Zamora and Katherine Heffernan. Cut them out and put them in a place where you see them often and maybe they will protect you from getting the coronavirus.

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