("Heart Mass")

Written by Jonathan Wojcik, Researched and Translated by Rev Storm

The seat of the soul is said to be an area from the navel to the diaphragm, its associated element is fire and its color is red. Since the heart itself is here and produces red blood, it takes on this "bug" that grows particularly large and red as well. Those possessed are attracted to burnt smells and bitter flavors, are always laughing foolishly, their mind weakens and their cheeks flush red.

All of this actually just sounds like drunkenness. Even the bitter flavors!

Design Review:

Oh my god.

Auto-Brewery Syndrome

The tiny fungus we call yeast is not a parasite at all, but technically a commensal, meaning that it lives within and on our bodies without having either an especially positive or negative impact. In fact, you presently have yeast thriving over virtually every single inch of your skin surface, your sinuses, the inside of your mouth and your digestive tract from front to back, feeding on your body's unwanted by-products but kept in check by your immune system as well as competing bacteria. The fact that it covers us entirely is why almost every human culture eventually learned that it could make yeast grow enough to produce various foods, which should make things like sourdough bread and certain cheeses a whole lot grosser than we give them credit; we basically found out how to rot things in tasty, edible ways with the fungus growing all over our filthy skin.

Unfortunately, sometimes yeast does a little too well, especially if something weakens our immune systems or reduces our bacterial population. Maybe sometimes both at once. When yeast flares up enough, it can become an infection; a smelly, itchy, slimy, irritated, completely disgusting affair, and one especially rare form of yeast infection is almost difficult to believe.

Yeast can be used to make booze because when yeast consumes sugar, it excretes ethanol as a waste product. This is true even of the yeast living inside of you as we speak, and in very rare cases, a yeast infection in the stomach can gain enough mass that its ethanol by-product actually intoxicates the host, as happened to one Texas man in 2013. They call it "auto-brewery syndrome," and it means your own guts start producing, and digesting, their own special "beer." Victims can be stricken with intoxication at any moment, and their blood alcohol can even rise to fatal levels if left untreated.

Resembling a random blob and causing basically intoxication, I can think of little else that Shinshaku could be compared to!