Friday, September 21, 2007

Tobihi is Densenseinoukashin which is Impetigo

Tobihi is Densenseinoukashin which is Impetigo (NOT scabies ... I thought it was scabies, which is why the cute little scabies mite is pictured above, but I stand corrected.)

Wednesday, my wife took a bit of time off work to take our three-year-old daughter Cornucopia (who we usually call Corny) to the doctor, on account of an alarming red rash which was causing her to complain of itchiness.

The doctor identified it as tobihi, and said that if it's not better by Friday then he will seriously recommend having Corny hospitalized.

Thursday 20 September I stayed home with Corny, as this condition is contagious, and we don't want every kid in the daycare center ending up having it.

Corny and I spent the day quietly at home, apart from a trip out to Tsutaya, the local branch of the Japanese rental outfit where you can borrow CDs, DVDs and good old-fashioned videos.

As we don't have a DVD player, we borrowed two of the good old-fashioned videos, and Thursday we hunkered down in an air conditioned room, since the autumn weather has recently turned summer-hot, and watched videos, and played a fishing game of my wife's invention, involving fishing for paper fish with a bauble which can catch fish with the aid of a bit of sticky cellotape.

Thursday evening my wife and I went through an ordeal of the dictionaries, of which we have quite a few in the home, and finally determined that Corny's condition is scabies [wrong, impetigo], a disease in which tiny little mites, far too small to be seen by the naked eye, get under the skin and cause severe itching.

Wife and daughter will show up at the doctor's at 0930 tomorrow Friday, and, if Corny is to be hospitalized, my wife will try to arrange for her to go to Meijin Hospital, the hospital in Yokohama where I go from time to time for cancer checkups.

Corny seems sanguine about the prospect of being in hospital, a fate which I explained to her by reminding her of the Dick Bruna Miffy-chan book in which Miffy has to go to hospital, a book that Corny, a big Miffy-chan fan, knows well.

The Wikipedia entry on scabies says the following:

"Scabies is a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection characterized by superficial burrows, intense pruritus (itching) and secondary infection. The word scabies comes from the Latin word for "scratch" (scabere)."

I have taken the liberty of borrowing the scabies pic from the Wikipedia entry and placing it at the top of this blog entry. However, because what is pictured is a canine scabies mite (I believe, rightly or wrongly, that every animal is privileged to have its own version of this mite) it is probably not the particular mite which has afflicted Corny.

With my radiation-trashed eyes, the amount that I see with my own unaided eyes is limited, but one thing that I can see quite well is fireworks, brilliant against the black of the night sky. And another thing that I can see very well indeed is the gaudy red rash that has afflicted Corny's body.

If Corny ends up in Meijin Hospital, I will become her daily visitor. If she is to be hospitalized, then this would be the ideal place, because I know the route well and can get there easily.

Because I'm a parent, I'm more likely than I used to be to pay attention to news articles which relate to parenting, and one that caught my eye on today's Google News was a piece headlined thus:

"Some moms defend Britney Spears' nudity around her kids."

Apparently pop star Britney is involved in court hearings that will determine whether she does or does not retain custody of her kids, and for some reason the issue of whether she does nor does not wear clothes has been deemed to be of interest to the courts.

Her bodyguard has been blabbing, and has denounced Britney for appearing naked in front of her sons.

So, how old are the sons? Are they young teens going through puberty, with all the hormonal implications of that state? No. Little Sean Preston is aged two, and little Jayden James is just one.

Here' a comment on this from, a quote in square brackets:

[Not according to some moms.

"When your kids are under 2, it's near impossible to use the bathroom or the shower without a pint-size audience. So avoiding nudity is extremely difficult," says Jen Singer, mother of two boys and creator of, a humor site for stay-at-home moms. "My boys would run around with their diapers off and think nothing of it, so why would they notice if I was naked?"

Romi Lassally, founder of the online confessional, agrees.]

The bodyguard's name is Tony Barretto, and if I could put a question to Tony it would be this: If you take life so very very seriously, why don't you get a serious job? Why not sign up with Blackwater, where you can do serious work by shooting people dead, instead of wasting your time snooping on Britney naked with her kids?

The two sites mentioned sound interesting, so I'll take a moment to check them out ...

I took a look at and find it bills itself as "The stay-at-home mom's coffee break," and you only need to look at the links on the page to know that you're not alone, one link being "When your kids won't brush."

There's kid-related news at this URL:

And one item is about "Parents go to jail for serving teens booze."

The link, unfortunately, doesn't seem to work ... I tried Google News with "parents teens jail booze."

I got some hits, including one at, from which I have taken the following quote:

[You may have heard a lot this week about the problem of underage drinking and the need to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.

That is because the Federal Trade Commission on Monday launched "We Don't Serve Teens Week" to emphasize the responsibility adults have to not provide booze to anyone under age 21. The nationwide campaign - in cooperation with the U.S. surgeon general, parents and leaders of government, industry, education and health care - seeks to make a concerted public effort to stop underage drinking.

While there is an ongoing debate among some people whether it is better to allow minors to drink under adult supervision than to risk teens consuming alcohol surreptitiously and endangering themselves and others on the road, there is no debate when it comes to the law: Furnishing alcohol to minors or allowing drinking on your property is illegal in all 50 states. Adults who violate the law could face criminal or civil penalties, as highlighted by several recent high-profile cases where parents were sent to jail for providing teens with alcohol.]

I feel another "Fascist United States dictatorship" rant coming on, so I think I'll abandon this topic at this stage. If the Yanks have crazy liquor laws, what is it to me?

Anyway, let's look at the other site ...

I like this that I see on the homepage:

"Terrible Twos my ass. How come nobody ever mentioned the Ominous One?"

If you're a parent, and if you're afflicted by the hard judgments of a terribly judgmental world, then maybe this site would be the site for you. Brief and funny glimpses into the decidedly imperfect world we live in.

Correction on definitions:

Sorry, the Japanese terms "tobiko" and "densenseinoukashin" do NOT mean "scabies." Rather, they denote "impetigo," which is sometimes referred to as school sores.


Blogger Romi said...

Hi Hugh,
Glad the ny daily news piece on Britney reached you in Japan and that through that you found your way to my site, True Mom Confessions. Glad you liked it..hope you come back. And take a peek at true dad and true office while you are in the land of confessionals... And spread the word to your friends in Japan....



6:16 AM  
Blogger Jen Singer said...


Thanks for plugging You may have missed during your visit that I, too, am a cancer patient. I am blogging about it here:
You'll find links there to my Good Housekeeping blog where I also write about parenting with cancer.

I will look for your book. Thanks for calling it "Cancer Patient" and not "Cancer Victim." We are not victims -- we are survivors. And I have insomnia thanks to this week's chemo....

Jen Singer

3:52 PM  

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