the online database of Japanese folklore

Hizō no mushi


Translation: spleen worm
Habitat: the spleen

Appearance: Hizō no mushi lives in the spleen and attacks the liver and muscles. It has a bright red body which is very hot. Its limbs are tipped with sharp claws. It staggers throughout the body on its thin legs.

Interactions: People infected with hizō no mushi take on some of its characteristics; most notably the staggering style of walking about, with left and right arms spread wide. When hizō no mushi reaches out from the spleen and grasps the liver in its talons, its victims develop hyperthermia. When hizō no mushi grasps the muscles in its talons, the victim’s body becomes hot and he begins to feel dizzy as if hit on the head.

A hizō no mushi infection can be cured by taking Chinese medicine made from mokkō (a species of thistle) and daiō (a kind of rheum).

Alphabetical list of yōkai