Long time ago, in Japan, illness was commonly believed to be the act of malevolent creatures inside the body.
A medical book written in 1568, “Harikikigaki” introduces 63 of those creatures, and describes how to fight them with acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbal medicine.
Although it is a serious medical book, the creatures were drawn cute like they can be in today’s art.
I am going to show one more picture from the book, along with a conversation which might be exchanged at a doctor’s office then.
Doctor: “What seems to be the trouble?”
Patient: “I have been hysteric and easy to get into a rage lately.”
Doctor: “Well… It must be ‘Kitai’ ’s work’.”
Doctor: “Yes, when Kitai moves or rages about in the body, the person becomes hysteric.”
Patient: “I don’t quite understand.”
Doctor: “Alright. Let me show you a picture of Kitai.”
Patient: “What the…! Are you saying this crazy thing is in my stomach?”
Patient: “That’s bullsh*t!!!”
Doctor: “You see? Kitai began to act violently in you again.”
It is scary but maybe the cute characters eased patients’ anxiety (^_^)
Because they are so cute, the book’s owner, Kyushu National Museum, sells those creatures goods such as stuffed toy, key ring, and T-shirt, as souvenirs.
Citation: Ruriiro Tradition
This is JAPAN Style!
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