Amabie and Japanese Creatures of Contagion - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Amabie and Japanese Creatures of Contagion

$7 per device Online Experience
1 hour
Up to 275 people
See Dates
$7 per device
Seattle, Washington
What We’ll Do

There's a strange new yōkai (supernatural creature) phenomenon taking the internet. Artists around the world are creating unique versions of the Amabie, a legendary Japanese merfolk. According to popular mythology, this peculiar creature appears in times of crisis, as yōkai often do.

During the Heian and Kamakura periods (794–1333), the bubonic plague gave rise to the yakubyogami (plague gods). In the 16th century, the Harikikigaki, a medical text, described 63 types of mushi—according to the writer, the small, disease-causing creatures entered the human body and caused sickness. Finally, in the Edo period (1603-1868), the Amabie arrived with a prophecy: "Share my image and the land shall be healed!"

Join author and folklorist Zack Davisson for a live chat about the Amabie, mushi, and other Japanese yokai that appeared during times of contagion. See how modern folklore is being created in real time, right before our eyes, and maybe be inspired to share your own version of the healing Amabie.

About Your Host
Zack Davisson
Zack Davisson

Zack Davisson is an award-winning translator, writer, lecturer, and scholar of Japanese folklore. He is the author of Kaibyo: The Supernatural Cats of Japan, Yurei: The Japanese Ghost and Yokai Stories from Chin Music Press, and is an essayist for Wayward from Image Comics.

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account.

Group Size

There are 275 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
Check back later!
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