An Amabie (pronounced ah-mah-bee-yay) or Amabiko is a legendary type of Japanese yōkai that was first witnessed and recorded in Japan in 1846. A little bit 'merperson', they have long hair and a scaled body, with three flipper-like feet or legs. Their eyes are starry in shape and they often have a bird like bill (not appearing in my wood girls, because they don't have mouths). They are said to appear with a prophesy about both good harvests and imminent disease/ epidemics. A drawing of one was used in an official Japanese government poster in 2020 regarding the coronavirus/ COVID 19 pandemic, and their image has been appearing widely in the work of Japanese artists and craftspeople since February 2020. It is said that sharing the image or likeness of an amabie will help to ward off disease.
This wood girl is my interpretation of this yōkai, with silver foiled shining eyes.
My pieces are painted in a naïve and simple style, with visible brush strokes and differing paint consistencies. It is important to note that these dolls are made from real wood which will have naturally occurring markings and grain, and sometimes there will be small amount of bleeding along the grain, which is to be expected when using untreated wood - please make sure you consult the pictures carefully before purchasing. She has been finished in a top coat of matt acrylic.
A note about 'Wood Girls'
My wooden girls are made from lime or linden wood and hand painted in the U.K. by me, a British artist, exploring patterns and scenes encountered by me on my travels and in daily life. They were inspired by the kokeshi dolls made in Japan, and with every purchase I include a leaflet explaining a little about the history of kokeshi in Japan and how they are made. I prefer to call mine 'wood girls' to distinguish them from the traditional folk craft of Japan.
Stamped underneath with ‘nakamura’ characters [中村] in red ink.
Approximately 14cm high.
Please note: THIS IS NOT A TOY and should be kept out of the reach of children.