the online database of Japanese folkore

Haimushi

肺虫
はいむし

Translation: lung worm, lung bug
Habitat: the lungs
Diet: cooked rice

Appearance: Haimushi is a tiny moth-like creature with a segmented body and four wings. They live in the lungs most of the time, but occasionally leave the body and fly through the air. They have red faces with a triple-forked mouth, and white bodies like that of a maggot. They have colorful, feathery wings. They feed mainly on cooked rice.

Interactions: Haimushi infect the lungs and cause various health problems. If a haimushi leaves its host and gets lost, the person will die and the haimushi will transform into a fireball and burn up.

A haimushi infection can be treated with byakujutsu, a traditional remedy made from the powdered root of the herb Atractylodes japonica.

Alphabetical list of yōkai