• About this Yokai •
Amabiko (JP: アマビコ, 尼彦, "海彦 " Umibiko)
Yet another example of an "Amabiko" & possibly the origin of the others. A glowing, 3 legged ape‑like yokai that (sometimes) lives in the ocean, comes out to give a prophecy (typically a good harvest and news warning of a terrible epidemic) tells the receiver to spread its image for good health, then it disappears...
Unlike the popular Amabie which was only told of once, there are actually 9 different accounts of the Amabiko (the earliest to date from 1844! predating Amabie by a couple of years.) - Each instance of Amabiko has a slightly different story –
This one probably one of the earliest examples, from 1844's "Echizen Kokushiki" - According to the accompanying text:
– "a glowing light appeared out of the sea in Echigo Province [now Niigata Prefecture] and said, "70% of the country's population will die this year, but if you keep my image on a kawaraban [picture card] you will be spared from this." –
This one is also known as "Umibiko" "海彦" by yokai fans, probably because it looks a bit like a cephalopod. (if I recall it used to be on the Amabie Wikipedia page and labelled it as the 'Cethalapod-like-Amabiko' for some time.) Probably because it has legs coming down and growing directly out of its head, they're so long and thin that they look like a bit more like clawed tentacles rather than like a fuzzy monkey. (but closer inspection on the higher res image of the original [last pic] shows fuzz & an ear!)
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo, thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!