the online database of Japanese folkore

Sori no kanmushi


Translation: back-bending liver bug
Habitat: the liver
Diet: spicy foods

Appearance: The sori no kanmushi is a terrible parasitic bug with wide, bugging out eyes, a blue back, and a white belly. Its hands are like flippers and its tail is brush-like. It likes spicy foods. It lives in the liver, but the symptoms it causes affect the spine.

Interactions: Sori no kanmushi bites the back of its host, causing great pain. Its victim develops a warped or curved spine, a condition which long ago was called sori (thus this creature’s name). Mokkō (Saussurea costus) and byakujutsu (Atractylodes japonica) are effective medicines against this bug.

Alphabetical list of yōkai