•About this Yokai•
Jinja hime (JP: 神社姫, じんじゃひめ)
The Giant Oarfish has been mistaken as a Sea Serpent around the world for centuries. (Quite understandably so, They can be as long as 36 feet!!) – These rarely seen, bony deep sea fish will often beach themselves leaving those that discover their bodies, flustered and confused at what they're looking at..
Superstitiously: the Oarfish has been said to be to appear before an earthquakes or tsunami (and will in-fact often appear on beaches just before/after the incident!) - They're a deep sea fish, so most of what we know about them until recently came from their beached bodies. it wasn't until recently (2001!) that they where actually filmed alive in the ocean!! – Apparently their favourite food is zooplankton, and they dont have teeth so they cant bite you, when they come up to feed they'll get stuck sometimes..
In Japan, the Oarfish is given the name as "Ryugu no tsukai" or "Servent of Ryugu-jo" or more bluntly / Mythologically put: "The Messenger from the Sea God's Palace." - "Ryugu-jo" is a famous, magical undersea palace which is made of Crystals (or Red Coral) it belongs to the draconic ocean god: "Ryūjin" who controls the oceans tides using magical jewels – [The palace appears or is mentioned in several folktales & fairy tales which cross over with yokai rather frequently, so we'll likely cover It and Ryujin in more detail another time!] – I digress; There is a Yokai from Ryugu-jo known as Jinja hime or "Shrine Princess" and she fits the description of an Oarfish very closely in both appearance and her apparent ability to predict the future!! –
One evening in 1819 in Hizen Province: A Jinja hime had appeared on a beach, where it delivered a message and a prediction to a Doctor named Katō Ebian: – "I am the messenger-princess of Ryugu-jo! – The next seven years will be abundant, but the disease called cholera is also becoming popular... Those that see my picture will be able to avoid hardship, and live an even longer life!!" – She then lept back into the water and Ebian quickly drew her picture and published it in his book for all to see [See last picture.]... And... well, thats that! really!! – This is the only story where Jinja hime appears, Whether or not she's actually a princess is up to debate & lost to time.
Shortly after this story was told, several other yokai began appearing across Japan with similar backstories of boons and clairvoyance. – "Draw me and I'll protect/heal you!" – which is a sentiment I feel is good to have right now in these crazy stressful times...
-Anyway I made this sticker with hopes that people will display her in public during the pandemic, even if its just a myth, we need all the help we can get.. if you like this one check out my other Amabie & Amabiko too!