Translation: the three corpses; the three spirits
Habitat: inside the human body
Appearance: The sanshi are three spiritual worms found inside of humans. Each is about 6 centimeters long. These worms live in their hosts from the moment they are born to the moment they die. They work hard to cause their hosts to do evil things.
Interactions: The names of the sanshi are Jōshi, Chūshi, and Geshi, meaning upper worm, middle worm, and lower worm.
Jōshi lives in your head and looks like a Taoist wise man. He is responsible for making your eyes grow weak, creating wrinkles, and growing white hairs. Chūshi lives in your torso and looks like a wild beast. He is responsible for damaging internal organs, making you overeat and overdrink, and causing bad dreams. Geshi lives in the lower half of your body and looks like a human foot with a cow’s head. He drains the will and shortens the life of his host.
The number 60 is an important number in Chinese astrology, and every sixty days the sanshi leave the body to visit the King of Heaven while their host human sleeps. They report their host’s wicked deeds for the year to king. Depending on this report, the King of Heaven shortens each human’s life span by a certain amount.
To escape the King of Heaven’s sentence, Kōshin practitioners do not sleep every 60th night, so the sanshi are never able to leave the body and give their report. Additionally, spells and charms are chanted to prevent any harm done by the sanshi. The following spell is said to defeat the sanshi’s power:
ホウコウシ、ホウジョウシ メイコシ シツニュウヨウメイイチュウ キョリガシン
Finally, if you find yourself drowsy and unable to stay awake, the following spell must be chanted before falling asleep to prevent harm:
シヤムシハ、イネヤサリネヤ ワガトコヲ ネタレゾネヌゾ ネネドネタレルゾ