Amabie (アマビエ) is a legendary Japanese mermaid who comes from the sea and prophesies either an abundant harvest or an epidemic. There are similar mermaids related to her: Amabiko (アマビコ or 天日子)), Amahiko (尼彦 or あま彦 or (天彦), Amahiko-nyudo (尼彦入道), Arie (アリエ), and others.
Legend says that Amabie appeared in Higo-no-kuni (Kumamoto Prefecture) in Edo era at midday on 3 April 1846. Every day a shining object appeared just beneath the surface of the sea until the Oyakunin (administrator) of the town went to the coast to see for himself, making the Amabie rise from where until then only light had been seen. From her waist down her body was that of a fish but scales covered all her skin, they were not limited by her waist, her lips protruded like a dome-crowned cylinder. Addressing the Oyakunin the Aamabie identified herself as Amabie and told him that she lives in the open sea, then she made a prophecy; "Good harvest will continue for six years, if disease spreads show a picture of me to those that are ill and they will be cured." She immediately went back into the sea after that. The story appeared in the Kawara-ban (a collection of engraved tiles), and her image was shown in it and was known throughout Japan.
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