Koseu & Oozakenomushi

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Greetings yokai fans!

I’m still battling jet lag after landing in Japan earlier this week. Most of this week has been spent house-hunting, registering with the city, getting my phone & accounts in order, and that kind of boring official stuff, but I have managed to squeeze in some painting time to work on these two guys.

The text these are from, the Harikikigaki, is an old book kept in the Kyushu National Museum. It details the human body, the five elements, and how they related to sickness. It’s based mostly on Chinese medicine and philosophy. I’m now working with a couple books based on the Harikikigaki that I didn’t have access to in the US, and since online sources only cover a handful of these “bugs,” I’m excited to get to do a little deeper work with more of them. Hopefully some of the upcoming ones will be new to the eyes of even the most dedicated yokai fans!

As you’ve seen with the previous parasitic yokai posts, I’m grouping them into pairs and trios based on shared traits. In this case, Koseu and Oozakenomushi are on the same page because they are both alcoholic bugs! Both of these guys live inside you and love sake, and of course cause you to drink too much. I really love the Koseu though, because not only can this bearded worm-bug speak, but it has a funny little umbrella protuberance on its head which blocks medicine, making him very hard to get rid of!

There will be another bug painting towards the end of this month, and sketches for that coming soon! I don’t yet have a proper studio space set up, so I’m squeezing in work whenever and wherever I have the chance.

More soon!

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