- Amabie / coronavirus / Japan / rice cracker / Senbei / Yokai
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Amabie is a fish an humanoid hybrid yokai (a spirit or demon of Japanese folklore) that has seen a very timely resurgence in popularity these days. The scaly creature is said to have emerged from the sea off the coast of Kumamoto during the Edo period, telling its human discoverers "If an epidemic ever spreads, draw a picture of me and show it to everyone."
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), artists on social media have been drawing amazing illustrations of the Amabie, and confectionery makers in Japan have since turned the yokai into adorably delicious donuts and colorful wagashi.
While many sweets shops have opted for a cuter aesthetic, Japanese senbei (rice cracker) maker Sanshu Sohonpo is now selling crackers with the original likeness printed on them, saying they can tap into the legend to help stop the current situation.
Those in Japan can start ordering the rather austere looking senbei from Sanshu Sohonopo's online shop starting today (April 23rd).