Amabie is popular these days in Japan, and understandably so. Rediscovered just over a month ago in the Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive (see link), legend has it that the half-man half-fish yokai (Japanese monster) with long hair and a scaly body appeared off the coast of Kumamoto, making predictions of a bountiful harvest, then left with the words: “If an epidemic ever spreads, draw a picture of me and show it to everyone.” Ever since, Amabie has been adopted in Japan as a symbol in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, fan art on social media was the main medium to feature Japan’s new virus-fighting mascot. But now, Amabie’s likeness has begun appearing in things like donuts and other edible treats.
The cute Amabie wagashi winning over hearts online
In a Tweet which has over 6,000 likes and 3,700 retweets at the time of writing, Shigeyuki Itoh, CEO of computer graphics and video production company Zeronium Co., Ltd., based in the northern Japanese city of Akita, gave us an even better reason to root for the Amabie.
As it turns out, Itoh’s wife is a pastry chef at Akita City sweets maker Kaorudo, and since April 12th, they have been selling the cutest Amabie wagashi you’ve ever seen:
According to an article by Netlab, these Amabie wagashi, sold at all five Kaourudo stores in Akita Prefecture, have been so popular that they have been selling out in 20 minutes.
It’s not hard to see why. At only 150 JPY (162 JPY with tax) apiece, they’re too cute and affordable to resist, and if we’re to believe Mr. Itoh, they’re quite delicious too.
So, if you live anywhere near one of Kaorudo’s stores, now’s your chance to pick up a few. And if you don’t, you can still appreciate these images and root for Amabie as she fights the nasty coronavirus.
Please note that Kaorudo has been swamped with inquiries, so they may be too busy to respond at the present time.