Uncanny Japan - Myths, Folktales, Superstitions, History and Language

Speculative fiction writer, long-term resident of Japan and Bram Stoker Award finalist Thersa Matsuura explores all that is weird from old Japan—strange superstitions, 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 13m. Bisher sind 55 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint alle 3 Wochen

episode 35: Seven Mysterious Things (Nanafushigi)

A giant hairy foot crashing through the roof of a old house and demanding to be washed. A festive tanuki band that appears in the dead of night and lures you into parts unknown. These are just two of the Honjo Nanafushigi. Nanafushigi can be...


 2019-05-27  15m

episode 34: Hidden by the Gods (Kamikakushi)

Today's show feels like a wacky and wonderful one. You see, I started talking about the tengu in Episode 32 (Heavenly Dogs and Brilliant Swordsmen),  but I wasn't able to cover one of my favorite things about this red faced, long nosed,...


 2019-05-06  16m

episode 33: Story Time - The Story of Mimi-Nashi Hoichi (Lafcadio Hearn)

After coming to live in Japan (1890), Lafcadio Hearn listened intently to the folk stories and ghostly tales that were related to him. He then wrote them down in English, adding his own unique style and began publishing books of his gathered...


 2019-04-15  24m

episode 32: Heavenly Dogs and Brilliant Swordsmen (The Tengu)

There are two types of tengu: the karasu/crow tengu and the hanadaka/long-nosed tengu. They're both awesome martial artists and fearsome foes, among other things.  On episode 32, I'll introduce you to these two super cool Japanese yokai and tell...


 2019-03-31  11m

episode 31: Story Time - Of a Mirror and a Bell (Lafcadio Hearn)

Story Time is a little bit different than the usual Uncanny Japan podcast. Instead of me telling you about some interesting, odd, or spooky tidbit, I'll be reading you a story. This is something I do over on Patreon once a month. There I call...


 2019-03-06  15m

episode 30: Human-Faced Fish

Next time you're staring down into a rowdy school of koi, keep an eye out for the one that has a human face. This is a jinmengyo and rumor has it if you see one a tsunami is on its way. Newspaper reporting human-faced fish spotted in Korea after 14...


 2019-02-21  12m

episode 29: The Devils are Coming! (Setsubun)

The devils are coming! Or the ogres or demons, depending on how you translate the Japanese word oni (鬼). February 3rd is Setsubun in Japan and it's not just the day before spring according to the lunar calendar, it's also the day that oni prowl the...


 2019-01-29  12m

episode 28: The Leech Boy Who Became a God

I'm starting 2019 off with the Seven Lucky Gods (Shichi Fukujin), or, well, more specifically ONE of the Seven Lucky Gods: Ebisu. He's the only one born and bred in Japan and, boy, does he have some seriously weird backstory. Come listen to me talk about Ebisu while binaurally recording a walk through Kyoto Station.


 2019-01-14  11m

episode 27: Ojizo Bound in Ropes Doused in Oil

The ojizo only wants to ease our suffering, and for that he gets tied up in ropes, doused in oil, and his head lopped off. Episode 27 of Uncanny Japan talks a little more about the ojizo statue, bringing to light some of the curious, unique, and...


 2018-12-14  14m

episode 26: Ojizo. The Little Guy Saving You and Yours From the Torments of Hell

An ojizo-sama is here to put aside his own enlightenment in order to save us all from the torments of hell. True story. He is especially partial to children, expectant mothers, firemen, travelers, pilgrims, stillborn, miscarried, and aborted babies....


 2018-11-21  10m