Why People Are Turning To A Legendary Japanese Bird In Hopes Of Ending The Pandemic

Recent news reveals that a two-headed bird depicted in an ancient Japanese diary has caught the attention of people that want the COVID-19 pandemic to end, resulting in the image going viral online.

People Turn To Legendary Japanese Bird In Hopes Of Ending Coronavirus Pandemic

Recently, a mysterious two-headed bird depicted in a Japanese diary dating back to about a century ago has become viral online, even resulting in merchandise such as t-shirts and crackers. The reason? People are turning to it in hopes of ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

Called “yogen no tori,” the bird is introduced by the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum to the public back in April and is said to have prophesied a cholera outbreak that ravaged Japan sometime back in the late 19th century. However, it’s also said to offer protection to those that prayed to it. As such, people have started believing in its supposed powers.

Showed to have two heads (one black and the other white), the bird is drawn in a journal owned by an official named Kizaemon back in 1858, in an ancient village that is now known as the city of Yamanashi, located in eastern Japan. Around the same time as the drawing, a cholera outbreak broke out in Nagasaki, killing many people in the span of two months and leading Kizaemon to write “it is truly god’s power and a strange prophecy.”

A 40-year-old curator then took a photo of the journal entry and tweeted it online back in April, when the museum was closed as part of the measures to help prevent COVID-19. From there, the photo managed to gather an audience, which then led to the museum deciding that the image can be used for commercial purposes.

As a result, the Sashidenoiso Daitakesan shrine in the city of Yamanashi said it had even provided its worshippers with 700 to 800 pieces of washi paper and "shuin" seal stamp that features the same bird. Other businesses, such as the Sanshu Seika Co.'s factory, have also even started selling Japanese crackers that have the bird’s image.

The bird’s popularity is evidence of Japanese culture and beliefs being well-preserved in the country.

house-sparrow-4449655_960_720 People are reportedly turning to a two-headed bird depicted in a Japanese journal in hopes of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)