ATZ asked Coney Island artist and rogue taxidermist Takeshi Yamada what he’s bringing to Friday night’s Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest at Bell House. He replied by sending his photo with the “Jersey Devil.” Can you believe it? For three centuries, New Jerseyans have been hunting the Pine Barrens in search of what Weird N.J. calls the state’s “oldest, most enduring, and important pieces of folklore” and it turns up in Coney Island’s Museum of World Wonders!
“It is a big winged lizard or dragon,” says Yamada of his Jersey Devil. “For over a century, this carnivorous animal has been a famous and very well-known cryptid called ‘Jersey Devil’ in the New Jersey area. Body parts of this taxidermy were collected in the woods of New Jersey. I also personally saw many unusual strange flying creatures (not birds or flying squirrels) in the woods for years in New Jersey.”
Yamada is also planning to bring one of his freak human babies. At the 2009 contest, he was awarded “The Most Twisted Prize” for his family of freak show babies made from his own skin. There’s a Two-headed Baby, Mermaid Baby, Octopus Baby, Lobster Baby, Snake Baby, Penguin Baby, and Three-headed Baby. Which one would you like to see? Yamada also won the Grand Championship of Taxidermy in 2006 for his 6-foot-long mummified Fiji Mermaid.
The Secret Science Club presents the 6th-annual Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest, Friday, December 9 at Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd Aves) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. “Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. $7 cover.” Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th.
UPDATE December 10, 2011…How did it go at the contest? Takeshi Yamada writes: “I had a great time at the taxidermy contest. I showed my 3 jersey devils on 3×4 feet Victorian picture frame, and the freak snake human baby (surprisingly, you have chosen the right one. I thought I might bring both the 3-headed baby and snake baby up until 1 hour before leaving my house.) I received the “SHOCK & AWE” award and trophy for them.”
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November 29, 2012: Coney Island Taxidermist Takeshi Yamada in AMC Reality Show
December 7, 2010: Art of the Day: Freak Taxidermy Skull by Takeshi Yamada
September 18, 2010: Photo of the Day: Takeshi Yamada’s Freak Baby Museum at San Gennaro