In the Bay of Obama (inside Wasaka Bay in the Sea of Japan) you will find Mermaid Beach on the edge of the city of Obama.
Two mermaid statues are found here, commemorating both national and local legends.
They were installed in April 1976 as part of an upgrade and renovation of this area. The inscription states:
Mermaid Statue: The mermaid legend has long been told in Obama because sirens (dugongs/manatees) from the south sea came here often, following the Kuroshio Current from the south to Wakasa Bay here on the edge of the Sea of Japan. In the legend of Yao Bikuni (or Yao-hime), the woman retained her youth and lived to be 800 years old. The statue was built in this peaceful and beautiful town with the hope of being a utopia of relaxation and longevity. The Kūinji Temple is 400 meters south of here and at the foot of the mountains is a sacred cave where Yao Bikuni was said to live, keeping the legend alive in this area. – Obama City
The Yao Bikuni legend exists in several parts of Japan, and tells of a young girl afraid of growing old.
She eats a small bite of mermaid flesh and as a result lives for 800 years with endless youth and beauty.
She suffers however from the losses of lovers she outlives, and guilt at having eaten mermaid flesh.
When one day she meets a mermaid again she begs forgiveness and is allowed to grow old and eventually die like the rest of us.
See more photos and details at the Obama Mermaids page.
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