Vintage Japanese Mermaids

Mermaids have a rich (rather culturally diverse) folklore surrounding them. What do you envision when you hear the word “mermaid?” An illustrious beauty with long, flowing hair?

Well, consider some renditions from 19th century Japan.

These illustrations range from about 1805-1840.

Apparently, reports of mermaid encounters were quite common during this time period…though undoubtedly far less desirable than running into one of our own culturally appropriated versions of the creature.

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14 Responses to “Vintage Japanese Mermaids”

  1. All I have to say is WOW. Never seen anything like this before

  2. Are you familiar with the Fee-gee mermaid? I’ve seen it spelled several different ways but Google usually gives me the same results.

  3. I have decided, I do not like mermaids any longer! šŸ˜‰

  4. Fiji mermaid. Yes, that’s the first thing I thought when I saw those paintings..

  5. There’s a cryptozoology museum in Portland? Seriously?! It figures I learn this from someone who doesn’t even live here. Thanks Dana! I’ll definitely check it out!

  6. SaptarshiC Says:

    I’ll just pretend that I only saw the first image and think about her. She’s dreamy.

    Seriously though, it’s really interesting to see all the different interpretations of the same thing.

    I guess we can, as always, leave it to the Japanese to do interesting art.

    • Japanese culture is FULL of delightfully interesting art! I always love seeing the different cultural visions of well known characters.

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