Amabie goes viral: the monstrous mercreature returns to battle the Gothic Covid-19

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Abstract

This essay focusses on yōkai, Amabie, a mer-monster from Japan’s Edo Period (1603–1868), who is being revived to ward off the Covid-19 virus in 2020. I argue that our understanding of crises is enhanced via the hybrid monsters they engender; here, I focus on the viral spread of the apotropaic image of Amabie via the internet. I also position Amabie as a Gothic artefact, though one which invites a revision of some of the approaches to monstrosity prevalent in Gothic studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercriq.12579
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Quarterly
Volume62
Issue number4
Early online date10 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • yokai
  • amabie
  • mermaid

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