making art in times of rapid change |
an online discourse
According to a woodblock-printed news sheet dated April 1846, the creature made its first and only appearance in the sea off Higo Province, on the southern island of Kyushu. A government official went down to the beach to investigate something shining in the water. A mermaid-like creature emerged, introduced itself as "Amabie who lives in the sea," and issued two predictions. "For the next six years, there will be a bountiful harvest across Japan, but there will also be an epidemic." Amabie told the official, "Quickly draw a picture of me and show it to people," and disappeared back into the sea.