In which I’ll take all the protection of my health I can get right now.
Have you heard of Amabie? Supposedly the story goes that around 1850 a town official went to investigate some odd lights seen on the sea. What he found instead was a youkai who promised (among some other stuff) to cure plague if its likeness was drawn. Is it any wonder Amabie has become popular during the Plague Year?
I love youkai (the Gegege no Kitarou franchise is a huge overarching manga and anime favorite of mine, though I’ve somehow managed to see only two episodes of its newest incarnation….ack, time). I love odd-looking cute things. I’ll take all the help I can get in not getting sick. Plus, Amabie has brought out a ton of creative awesomeness, some of it darling and some of it delicious and some of it rather unsettling, but all pretty amazing. So I had to pick up a few items to commemorate them.
Especially as Mr B starts in-person classes this week, I wanted a new ema for a bit of extra house luck. After missing out on a couple of Amabie items, I was quick to grab this one — I didn’t even realize initially the design is done by Bkub Okawa of Pop Team Epic fame. But isn’t it lovely?
It’s typical ema size, about three inches high and five inches wide, it’s made of decently thick wood, and it is a bargain at about $6.50. The black text on the right says 疫病退散 ekibou taisan (Plague begone). The lighter text just to the left of that says the youkai’s name アマビエ Amabie. On the back, below, there’s a place to write year, month and day.
Since I liked the design so much, and I’ll never turn down an opportunity for more mask cuteness/variety, I got the face mask as well. It’s of decent quality and looks nice, though I have my doubts about how well it will hold up for more frequent use and, also–
Do I have, like, a huge face or something? Is the distance from my nose to my mouth abnormally huge? Because I got the large size and it still feels a little small. (＞人＜;)
At a price of about fourteen dollars, I can’t really say this mask exhibits a big quality differential compared to those I’ve bought for half the price. Although, come to think of it, that might be the price of the protection of Amabie themself. In that case, I’m all the more pleased with my purchase.
I’m sorry to say neither of these are available any more at amiami — if I remember correctly, they sold out quite quickly — but we all seem to find plenty to spend our money on around these parts anyway. I’ll be attentive to more cute Amabie goods coming out in the future, though, for sure.