Uncanny Japan - Japanese Folklore, Folktales, Myths and Language

Speculative fiction writer, long-term resident of Japan and Bram Stoker Award finalist Thersa Matsuura explores all that is weird from Japan—strange superstitions, folklore and folktales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks. These are little treasures she digs up while doing research for her writing.


Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 14m. Bisher sind 62 Folge(n) erschienen. Alle 3 Wochen erscheint eine Folge dieses Podcasts

episode 62: Yuurei: Japanese Ghosts from Protective to Wrathful

Yuurei are Japanese ghosts and they come in quite a few varieties, from the protecting shugorei to the vengeful and very dangerous onryou.



episode 61: Oiran: The Glamorous and Wretched Life of a High Courtesan

An oiran is not a geisha. Although at first glance they may look alike, one is a more reserved entertainer who is still in existence today. The other is a high courtesan, long disappeared, who wore flamboyant brightly-colored kimono and walked on 20...



episode 60: Kanreki: Your Auspicious Years, Yakudoushi: Your Calamitous Ones

You can also find me on: Twitter:  Facebook:  Patreon:  Instagram:  Amazon:  YouTube:  Website:  Notes: Intro/Outro by Julyan Ray Matsuura.  and . And  Traveling Through The Wonderful Universe...


 2020-09-15  16m

episode 59: Koumare Ishi: Inexplicable Rocks That Predict the Deaths of Monks

Koumare Ishi is one of the nanafushigi or seven mysterious occurrences from my area. The belief is that a rock is born from the side of the mountain, and when it falls the head abbot of the nearby temple, Daitoku, dies.


 2020-09-01  15m

episode 58: Bon Odori: Dancing with the Dead

Bon Odori or Bon Dancing is a summer tradition held all over Japan. It's a chance for families to get together and have an enjoyable time dancing to the rhythmical music. Seeing as how the Obon season is also when ancestors visit from beyond the...


 2020-08-17  20m

episode 57: The Jellyfish Takes a Journey (plus eel and seppuku!)

Ever wonder why a jellyfish looks the way they do? Well, the Japanese folktale "The Jellyfish Takes a Journey" (Kurage no Honenashi) tells you how that came about. Then after that folktale, I'll give you a little trivia about the connection between...


 2020-07-29  17m

episode 56: Food Superstitions and Sayings

Why shouldn't you eat crab and watermelon together? What will happen if you don't eat all the rice in your bowl? Today I'll answer these and a whole lot more. Japanese food superstitions and sayings are quite interesting and sometimes funny.


 2020-07-17  22m

episode 55: Star-Crossed Lovers (Tanabata)

Tanabata is a Japanese festival based on the bizarre tale of two star-crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi. I'll tell you their story, explain a little about the origins and how it's celebrated today.


 2020-06-30  15m

episode 54: Yokai-Related Sayings: Becoming a Tengu

You can also find me on: Twitter:  Facebook:  Patreon:  Instagram:  YouTube:  Website:  Intro/Outro by Julyan Ray Matsuura.  and . And  This episode is supported by . Summer Ambient Piano by Rafael Krux...


 2020-06-18  15m

episode 53: Creepy Children's Song - Kagome Kagome

In Japan "Kagome Kagome" is an old children's game and the song that goes along with it. It's interesting because the mysterious lyrics have several different interpretations and most of them are pretty grim.


 2020-05-29  16m