Yokai Belly Bugs - KanNoMushi - Harakikigaki [Part 2!]
[The "Harikikigaki" [針聞書] or "the book of needles" ‑ is a 1568 tome about acupuncture & medical knowledge written by an unkown resident of Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. ‑ It's an incredibly valuable source of information about the way people used to think about illness in those days: the book is currently housed at Kyushu National Museum as the centre piece. (twitter: @kyuhaku_koho ) ‑ Its most popular for including 63 unique diagrams of "Shaku" Microbial/parasitic/germs/bug sized creatures thought to cause disease & Illness! ‑ the book also recommends treatments/cures for each!! - These germ‑sized yokai are often collectively known as 'Shaku', ‘Hara‑no‑mushi’ [腹の虫] sometimes also 'Kan No Mushi' [疳の虫] (adorably, often translated as "belly bugs") - Today the term is most commonly used as an expression for when babies & children have unexplained tantrums - (like when the parents cant tell what’s quite wrong.) ‑ These are maybe the cutest parasites you'll ever see (theres even an anime about them) but make no mistake, despite how cute they may appear, these germs were once taken most seriously!! – you can view my collection of disease related yokai thus far on my website here: https://samkalensky.com/collections/the-harikikigaki-kibyo-strange-illnesses ] - i'll be posting a new one every day this week for a total of 7 so check back at this post again for a new one everyday!!-
..Lets take a closer look at these ancient germies with my magical magnifying glass: [click the name to go to the 'full post']
1: Sori no kanmushi - JP: ソリの肝虫 - 'Spine warping Liver Worm' - a wicked worm that lives in the hosts liver, it stretches and painfully bites the hosts spine causing it to develop into a curved spine (scoliosis? hunchback?) it does this because It likes spicy food. (Makes sense…?😂)- Fortunately, it can also be cured with herbal medicine such as Mokkō & Byukajutsu. (Medicine made from the roots of medicinal thistles.)
2: Yo No Kameshaku - JP: "陽の亀積" - "Yang Turtle infection" - A shelled turtle-like germ that infests the stomach, where it feasts on all the rice its host eats! - its associated with yang energy (But the book is vague on exactly how!) - it prevents normally effective medicines from effecting the patient with its umbrella like hat! (a trait shared between a few of these bugs.) - Thankfully, it can be cured by eating beans from a pongam tree. - upon ingesting the bean, the creature takes it's hat off. (apparently caused by the memory of the bean being unsheathed) and the medicine can take its effect & cure the host!
3: In no Kameshaku - JP: "陰の亀積" a nasty fat turtle-like parasite with a hard gray body & blackened, red tipped limbs. it is covered in white worms draped all around its body. it lives in the abdomen and steals any and all the food the host eats - A while after they die It will crawl out of the host's corpse. (Scary!!!) [Note: the book is vague on how exactly it kills them.]) it can be cured gradually by adding Kochia to the host's diet. (a strong, bitter herb, typically used for treating dysuria (burning urination) & sometimes used as an anti-breast cancer treatment.)
4. Kosho: a parasite with a baby-like face, & the beard of an old man, it has Sou'wester-like umbrella cap for blocking medicine, it can speak, and is is known to babble, it's favourite drink is sweet sake. It spawns in the abdomen between vital arteries…
5.Ozake No Mushi - a blood red sack full of writhing parasitic worms that infests their hosts abdomen. Those infected soon become heavy drinkers, the sack heats up as the host drinks, and drinks and drinks...
6.Koshinukenomushi. a butterfly that flys around the lower back causing pain and all sorts of other problems...
7. Gyochu.- a terrible floppy-tongued S.T.D that propagates on human genitalia (But only on Koshin night. (taoist tradition) - it tattles to Jigokus King Enma, telling him all the sins & bad deeds the host ever had thought - Divine punishment follows.
I hope you enjoyed this round of mushi! i'll draw more someday soon!!