Mushishi is set in an imaginary time between the Edo and Meiji periods, featuring some 19th-century technology but with Japan still as a “closed country”. The story features ubiquitous creatures called Mushi (蟲?) that often display what appear as supernatural powers. It is implied that there are many more lifeforms more primitive than “normal” living things such as animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, and Mushi is the most primitive of all. Due to their ethereal nature most humans are incapable of perceiving Mushi and are oblivious to their existence, but there are a few who possess the ability to see and interact with Mushi. One such person is Ginko (ギンコ?), the main character of the series. He employs himself as a Mushi Master (蟲師 mushi-shi?), traveling from place to place to research Mushi and aid people suffering from problems caused by them.