A-Yokai-A-Day: Kanmushi

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.


Translation: unknown*

Kanmushi live in your abdomen, and travel about between the heart and liver. They have a single tail, but their head is split in two. Their back is red and their belly is yellow.

People who become infected with this parasite feel a strong urge to drink large quantities of hot liquids. As this worm wraps itself around its host’s liver, they lose consciousness.

Kanmushi infections can cured very quickly by ingesting jiō (the roots of Rehmannia glutinosa), a kind of figwort.

*The kanji used in this creature’s name 𧒄 is an old and very rare one. I wasn’t able to find any explanation of it in Japanese or Chinese dictionaries, and even the book I have which breaks down the pages of Harikikigaki does not make any attempt to explain the meaning of this rare character.

If you enjoyed today’s A-Yokai-A-Day entry, please consider becoming a patron and supporting my work by visiting patreon.com/osarusan.

Leave a Reply