Amabie mascot

Japan has a new amabie mascot and it's here to ward off plagues

The mermaid-like mythical creature, believed to cure illness, appeared in mascot form at a school in Kagoshima

Kaila Imada

Ever heard of the amabie? This long-forgotten mythical Japanese creature has recently resurfaced and it's making waves on social media in times of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Legend has it that seeing a picture of an amabie can cure any illness, so amabie-themed items are popping up everywhere, from doughnuts and traditional wagashi confectionery to beer labels. Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has even created a line of merchandise featuring his version of the mermaid-like creature. Now, the city of Kagoshima has taken the amabie trend to the next level by giving it a 'real-life' incarnation.

Kagoshima's superhero mascot Satsuma Kenshi has recruited the amabie into his team of mascots to help people fight coronavirus. The new mascot has been keeping busy by participating in a local school project and visiting the city's aquarium.

At Nakagori Elementary School, the life-size amabie mascot, along with parents and volunteers, drew a large picture of an amabie on the ground outside the school. The image was later photographed from above using a drone, and it will be printed onto lucky amulets for the school children.

Japan is no stranger to quirky mascots, so it's fitting to see one that responds to the times, offering hope to adults and children alike. Of course, no magical creature can truly cure us of the coronavirus, so please stay home, wear a mask, and wash your hands.

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