A-Yokai-A-Day: Nakisubaku

If you’d like to join me and many others in painting a yokai a day this month, all you have to do is paint, draw, or create any yokai you like, and share it using the hashtag #ayokaiaday. There’s no set list of yokai you have to paint, but you’re free to browse yokai.com or any other yokai resource and choose your favorites.


Nakisubaku
鳴き寸白

Translation: crying white sun* (i.e. tapeworm)

Nakisubaku is a long white worm with heads at both ends of its body. It lives in the abdomen. It gets its name from the fact that if you squeeze the belly of a person infected with it, the worm lets out an audible cry!

The only symptom of this infection listed in Harikikigaki is a that the patient’s stomach growls. It’s rather a light disease compared to its brethren the kamisubaku and the subakuchu.

This infection is easily cleared out by taking nira (garlic chives, Allium tuberosum) and binrōshi (seeds of the areca palm, Areca catechu)

*A sun is old Japanese unit of measurement equal to about 30.303 millimeters. It’s the same word that we saw earlier in the subakuchu. In old Japanese terminology, subaku refers to segmented tapeworms.


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