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The Belly Button

January 25, 2022

When I was 9 years old, a girl in my class told me a terrifying scientific fact. If you touched your belly button after having a wee, you would get sick and die. This news affected me deeply. It didn’t stop me weeing but it did put the belly button out of bounds for at least a year.

As an adult, I moved to Japan where I lived for 12 years. All good until the subject of the belly button came up. Once again I was told it was off limits. Don’t touch it and don’t leave it uncovered, I was warned. Why? I asked. Because an oni (demon) will come and steal it. So there you go.

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