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Jersey Devil

Takeshi Yamada and his Jersey Devils at the Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest in 2011. Photo © Takeshi Yamada

The last time Takeshi Yamada competed in the Secret Science Club’s Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest was in 2011, when he won the “Shock and Awe Award” for his Jersey Devils. He also brought along a freak snake human baby and his constant companion the Sea Rabbit Seara. The Coney Island artist and rogue taxidermist will unveil his newest wonders and curiosities when the event returns to Brooklyn’s Bell House on Sunday evening. The contest was not held in 2012 and 2013 due to Superstorm Sandy, Yamada says.

Fiji Mermaid

Rogue Taxidermy by Takeshi Yamada via takeshiyamada.weebly.com

At the 2009 contest, Yamada 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. Yamada also won the Grand Championship of Taxidermy in 2006 for his 6-foot-long mummified Fiji Mermaid. She’s the one he tried to bring for a ride on the Cyclone roller coaster during the Mr. Cyclone Contest!

Yamada, who has an MFA in fine art from the University of Michigan School of Art, considers his artwork “specimens” rather than examples of self expression. His new website shows examples of his rogue taxidermy artwork for sideshows and amusement parks, as well as TV shows and museum collections. There are also links to fan videos like this one from 2009 in which Yamada is the outside talker for his Freak Baby Museum in Coney Island. Special today, $1.00!

The Secret Science Club’s Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest, Sunday, April 6 at the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd Aves) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Doors 7:00 pm, show at 7:30 pm. This event is 21 and over. $12 advance, $15 at door. Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

UPDATE April 19, 2014:

Congratulations to Takeshi Yamada for winning the grandmaster’s prize in the Secret Science Club’s contest. He was awarded first prize for his “Five-headed Monster from Hell” and “Giant Space Alien Skull.”

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Takeshi Yamada Jersey Devil

Coney Island Artist Takeshi Yamada with his New Jersey Devil and Sea Rabbit

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.

Snake Baby

Snake Baby Copyright All rights reserved by MUSEUM OF WORLD WONDERS , Dr.Takeshi Yamada

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.”

Jersey Devil

Takeshi Yamada and his Jersey Devils Won the Shock and Awe Award at the 2011 Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest. Photo © Takeshi Yamada

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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

November 7, 2009: Thru Dec 31 at Coney Island Library: Artist Takeshi Yamada’s Cabinet of Curiosities

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