Long ago in Japan, human illness was commonly believed to be the work of tiny malevolent creatures inside the body. Harikikigaki, a book of medical knowledge written in 1568 by a now-unknown resident of Osaka, introduces 63 of these creepy-crawlies and describes how to fight them with acupuncture and herbal remedies.
Kameshaku eats rice and wears an umbrella-like hat that blocks medicine. It can be destroyed by eating wild beans.
Koshi-no-mushi flies into a host’s body and makes its way to the lower back area, where it causes diarrhea, sweating and chest pains. The herbs mokko and kanzo (licorice root) are an effective treatment.
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