Ghost "Amabie" Used to Raise Youth Awareness on Coronavirus

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 13 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry has started using an illustration of "amabie," a kind of yokai, or ghost, which is believed to have the power to ward off pestilence, to call on young people for cooperation in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

An awareness flyer with the illustration of amabie urging people to "stop the spread of the virus" has been posted on the ministry's website.

According to a legend, the mermaid-like yokai emerged from the sea off the Higo domain, now Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in Japan's Edo period and told locals that they should draw a picture of it and show this to others in the event of a plague.

Many people have posted on social media their drawings of amabie, following the coronavirus outbreak.

Young people tend to show little or no symptoms even if they get the virus. "We hope young people will realize that they have high chances of spreading the virus unconsciously," a ministry official said, calling on them to take necessary steps to prevent a further spread of the virus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press