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Uncanny Japan - Japanese Folklore, Folktales, Myths and Language

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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 old Japan—strange superstitions, folktales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks. These are little treasures she digs up while doing research for her writing.

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Recent Episodes of Uncanny Japan - Japanese Folklore, Folktales, Myths and Language


Bug News: Body Parasites or Ghosts (Mushi no Shirase)?

Bug News: Body Parasites or Ghosts (Mushi no Shirase)?

Have you ever had a premonition or a foreboding feeling that turned out to be true? Was it a parasitic insect living in your belly or a ghost trying to tell you something?

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story re...

Episode 148 15 May 2024 14m and 30s


Falling Trees: Tengu or Furusoma (Creepy Dead Guy)?

Falling Trees: Tengu or Furusoma (Creepy Dead Guy)?

If a you hear a tree fall in the woods, but can't find any sign of that fallen tree, is it the work of a tengu, a creepy dead guy ghost, or something else?

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime st...

Episode 147 1 May 2024 12m and 28s


Story Time: The Mirror Maiden by Lafcadio Hearn

Story Time: The Mirror Maiden by Lafcadio Hearn

Today I'll read you Lafcadio Hearn's short story: The Mirror Maiden. 

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.

Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
Web...

Episode 146 17 April 2024 16m and 22s


Ryomen Sukuna: Awesome Saint or Japan-Destroying Demon?

Ryomen Sukuna: Awesome Saint or Japan-Destroying Demon?

The two-faced, eight-limbed giant named Ryomen Sukuna has been around since very early Japan, still is he a Buddhism-protecting hero or a cursed demon who tried to destroy Japan?

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, pl...

Episode 145 30 March 2024 22m and 45s


Teru Teru Bōzu: Cute, Magical, Unsettling Origins

Teru Teru Bōzu: Cute, Magical, Unsettling Origins

You'll often see ghostly-looking dolls strung up in windows in Japan on rainy days. What do they mean and why are they a little creepy?

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.

...

Episode 144 15 March 2024 17m and 12s


Abe no Seimei & His Mysterious Place Near Me

Abe no Seimei & His Mysterious Place Near Me

Abe no Seimei was the greatest onmyōji in Japan. While he lived in Kyoto, he visited Shizuoka at some point and performed some magic, giving us another nanafushigi (seven mysterious things). 

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you mont...

Episode 143 29 February 2024 20m and 30s


Nami-Kozō: The Creepy Little Wave Boy

Nami-Kozō: The Creepy Little Wave Boy

A nanafushigi (seven mysterious things) and a local yokai, the Nami Kozō or Wave Boy has a number of variations to his story, some involving real historical monks. 

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.

<...

Episode 142 16 February 2024 18m and 43s


The All-powerful Five Elements and You

The All-powerful Five Elements and You

In Japan there are two types of Five Elements, the gogyo and the godai and you can find them all throughout Japanese culture-in tea ceremony, martial arts, acupuncture, herbalism, esoteric Buddhism, and even in cemeteries. 

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bed...

Episode 141 31 January 2024 19m and 59s


A Rollicking and Powerful Year of the Dragon 2024

A Rollicking and Powerful Year of the Dragon 2024

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Happy New Year! This is Thersa Matsuura and you’re listening to Uncanny Japan, Season 8. We just moved from the year of the Rabbit to the Year of the Dragon and I want to tell you all about it. 

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like...

Episode 140 16 January 2024 13m and 6s


Joya no Kane: Purify Yourself With This Episode

Joya no Kane: Purify Yourself With This Episode

Joya no Kane is the Buddhism tradition of ringing out the old year and ringing in the new one. Where did it come from and what does it mean?

[This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]

Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other shows are Uncanny Robot Podcast and The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the p...

Episode 139 28 December 2023 15m and 30s

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