Just hang this on the wall and you'll be safe.
*In the first half of 1846, a kawaraban, or cheaply printed broadside, recorded a strange account in Japan’s old Higo Province on Kyūshū island. A local government official had spotted a curious creature in the water one evening: a scaly, three-legged figure with long hair and a beak. Even more curious, it had warned him of a forthcoming illness and instructed him to draw and distribute its image for protection. A sketch was printed next to this account, and as the kawaraban spread, so did tales of this mysterious half-merperson, half-bird, from Kyūshū all the way to Edo.
*Known as Amabie, this yōkai, or spirit, has become associated with refuge from epidemics. It makes sense, then, that it has resurfaced during the global COVID-19 pandemic, only this time on social media. Illustrations of Amabie are circulating on Twitter and Instagram under the hashtags #amabie and #アマビエ; artists around the world are drawing and sharing Amabie in hopes of repelling disease, or at the very least honing their talents and finding community while social distancing.