Kodoku - Insect Magic

In East Asia there is a type of black magic conducted by women that is known in Japan as 'kodoku' and in China as 'gu.' It involves sealing several venomous insects, for example scorpions or centipedes, in a jar and allowing them to kill each other until only one survives.

The fluids of the surviving insect are then used to poison a victim and cause either serious illness, death, or curse them so that they can be controlled for the purposes of evil. The remaining insect could also become a good luck charm for the person conducting the magic.

In some accounts of the practice, toads and snakes were also used to create the poison, and in these cases the motivation was usually seduction or sexual indulgence. Obviously, do not try this at home!

Art Credits:
1. Ukiyo-e print, artist unknown, 1800s.
2, 'Group of Insects' - Watanabe Shotei, 1910.
3. Kitagawa Utamaro, 1788.

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