Shimoura Bentenkai - Clay doll "Amabie"


Amabie is a legendary (imaginary) Japanese mermaid/merman. In the old days people from this area believed the Amabie protected them from becoming ill.

After the craftsman (women) creates this Amabie clay doll, they bring them to the nearest shrine and have them “oharai” (purification.) You will find the talisman of purification called “ofuda” from the shrine underneath each Amabie doll.

Every dolls are hand made and have unique characters. 

  • Sold separately
  • Approximate measurements:
    • Small: 3" W x 2 1/2" H
    • Medium: 4" W x 3 1/4" H
    • Large: 4 1/4"W x 3 5/8"H
  • Weight: Large, 9.05 oz  Small, 3.25 oz
  • Material: clay, paper
  • Care instruction: to clean, gently wipe the surface with a dry cloth.
  • Do not hand wash or get wet.


Clay dolls from Amakusa city in Kumamoto prefecture.  Shimoura-benten-kai has started in 2013 as a group to support local businesses and traditional techniques to create the dolls.  This small town in Amakusa used to be a well known place for clay dolls and has more than 300 years of history. Unfortunately most craftsman have retired but recently a few number of women have volunteered to learn the techniques to create dolls and carry on the tradition.