A-Yokai-A-Day: Kagemushi

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: shadow bug

Kagemushi are disease yokai which possess the genitals of men and women.

When an infected couple has sexual intercourse, the kagemushi become excited. This excitement culminates during climax, at which point both the male and female kagemushi erupt forth, gushing liquids all over the place. A white liquid is discharged from male hosts, and a red liquid from female hosts*. Although these liquids flow forth from both humans, they are in fact vomited up from mouths of the kagemushi. Afterwards, male and female kagemushi entangle each other in their wire-like limbs, becoming inseparable.

Those possessed by kagemushi display a severely increase libido, perpetual horniness, and constantly behave in a lewd manner. Treatments for kagemushi infections exist, but are only passed down orally. Harikikigaki does not list any.

*This description relates to the ancient Buddhist “red and white drops” theory of sexual reproduction, in which the white drops expelled by the male combine with the red drops expelled by the female, become implanted in the female, and then become a seed. This seed then undergoes a series of metamorphoses before it transforms into a fetus. Harikikigaki attributes the expulsion of these drops to the kagemushi. In other words, it’s not the birds and the bees–it’s the bugs!

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