A-Yokai-A-Day: Shōni no mushi

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Shōni no mushi
小児の虫

Translation: infant bugs

It’s often said that children are little petri dishes full of disease. Harikigaki seems to think so too, as it contains a single entry lumping together all of the little critters that infect infants. Kids are so full of infectious parasitic yokai that they can’t all be named or described.

Shōni no mushi come in all shapes and sizes, from simple white worms to big complex things that look like something Stephen Gammel might have drawn for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Shōni no mushi can do a number of nasty things to an infant. They can cause the belly to swell up painfully, or they can bring diarrhea. They can cause incessant crying (i.e. infantile colic). They can cause mouth ulcers and periodontitis. They can make babies vomit and unable to drink milk. They can cause a gradual decline in health, or they can bring sudden, unexpected death.

Because there are so many different types of shōni no mushi, and so many different types of symptoms, there are also many sorts of acupuncture treatments that one must learn in order to treat them. As usual, these are transmitted only orally, and are not listed in Harikikigaki. However, it is noted that once shōni no mushi reach maturity, the symptoms become much harder to treat.


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