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Exploring Japanese Myths, Folktales, Superstitions, History and Language Uncanny Japan explores all that is weird from old Japan. Strange superstitions, old wives tales, cultural oddities, history and interesting language quirks. These are little treasures dug up while doing research for my writing, and I want to share them with you here.

Exploring Japanese Myths, Folktales, Superstitions, History and Language Uncanny Japan explores all that is weird from old Japan. Strange superstitions, old wives tales, cultural oddities, history and interesting language quirks. These are little treasures dug up while doing research for my writing, and I want to share them with you here.
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Location:

yaizu, Japan

Description:

Exploring Japanese Myths, Folktales, Superstitions, History and Language Uncanny Japan explores all that is weird from old Japan. Strange superstitions, old wives tales, cultural oddities, history and interesting language quirks. These are little treasures dug up while doing research for my writing, and I want to share them with you here.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 35: Seven Mysterious Things (Nanafushigi)

5/27/2019
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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 translated as seven wonders, but they're more like seven mysteries. All over Japan you can find stories (old and new) of seven strange occurances. As an introduction to my new idea of covering local legends and creepy tales, this month's podcast is about...

Duration:00:15:55

Episode 34: Hidden by the Gods (Kamikakushi)

5/6/2019
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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, mountain warrior. That being the notion of kamikakushi (神隠し) or being spirited away. In this episode I get into that but the more I researched the really wild and fascinating information I ran across. In this Episode 34: Spirited Away (Kamikakushi), I'll...

Duration:00:16:23

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

4/15/2019
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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 observances and retellings. Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Exotics and Retrospectives, and Kwaidan to name a few. Today on Uncanny Japan, I read you "Mimi-nashi Hoichi", arguably Mr. Hearn's most well known story. A story that has been made into a movie,...

Duration:00:24:27

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

3/31/2019
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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 you a little bit about their lore. A Hanadaka (long-nosed) Tengu Notes: Intro/Outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura. Here and here. And here.

Duration:00:11:46

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

3/6/2019
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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 them Bedtime Stories and they're more varied, from obscure pieces of folklore I find, translate, and slightly reimagine (for the story's sake), to pieces I discover in the public domain and sometimes even my own work. But that's that. Here on Uncanny...

Duration:00:15:47

Episode 30: Human-Faced Fish

2/21/2019
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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 years Or maybe if you're lucky, you'll get a glimpse of the nekomengyo/cat-faced carp. Which is much cuter until it grows those long legs and walks around at night. Notes: Intro/Outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura. Here and here. And here.

Duration:00:12:20

Episode 29: The Devils are Coming! (Setsubun)

1/29/2019
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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 streets and children must pelt them roasted soybeans to insure good luck for the coming year. In this episode of Uncanny Japan, I talk about Setsubun and the various ways it's celebrated. Eho-maki Sushi for Good Luck! This years good luck...

Duration:00:13:06

Episode 27: Ojizo Bound in Ropes Doused in Oil

12/14/2018
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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 bizarre manifestations of this beneficent deity. ----- Notes: Intro/Outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura. Here and here. And here.

Duration:00:14:19

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

11/21/2018
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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. Do you have some kind of pain? He's here to take that away, too. The background binaural sounds are a small group of Japanese men and women playing a game of gateball. They're rooting for each other, taking the piss out of each other, and...

Duration:00:10:56

Episode 25: Okiku and the Nine Plates (Bancho no Sarayashiki)

10/29/2018
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One, two, three... Okiku kneeling, counts the priceless plates that have been entrusted to her. Four, five, six... her samurai master, Tessan, stands, hands on hips, he watches her trembling hands. Seven, eight, nine... Okiku gasps. She checks the wooden chest, looks around panicked. There were ten. Now there are nine. Where did the other one go? Tessan enraged accuses her of stealing it, or perhaps breaking it and hiding the pieces. Where did she hide them? Maybe in the well. Tessan drags...

Duration:00:09:40

Episode 24: A Bedtime Story - Kachi-Kachi Mountain (PG Version)

10/11/2018
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Episode 24 of Uncanny Japan is a story, a Bedtime Story. Here I read to you my retelling and reimagining of a classic Japanese folktale Kachi Kachi Yama (Kachi Kachi Mountain). There are quite a few versions of the story out there. This one is very PG and everyone friendly. The more true-to-the-original and very slightly R-rated is over as extra content on Patreon. Notes: Intro/Outro music and music bed by Julyan Ray Matsuura. Here and here. And here.

Duration:00:26:07

Episode 23: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (Kuchisake Onna)

9/20/2018
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I've had quite a few requests via email, DMs, and reviews for a show on Japanese urban legends. Episode #23 is in answer to those requests. Here are two urban myths that have always intrigued me: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (kuchisake onna) and The White Thread That Comes from Your Ear (mimi kara shiroi ito). Notes: Intro and Outro music is provided by Julyan Matsuura. He also does the music beds for my Bedtime Stories (available on Patreon).

Duration:00:13:13

Episode 22: Great Screaming and Uninterrupted Pain More Buddhist Hells

9/3/2018
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Here are the last four Buddhist Hot Hells for your enjoyment. There is extreme heat, much screaming, and a flaming rooster. Also, I was able to catch a local summer festival on the binaural mics. That is very cool. The post Episode 22: Great Screaming and Uninterrupted Pain More Buddhist Hells appeared first on Uncanny Japan.

Duration:00:09:46

Episode 22: Great Screaming and Uninterrupted Pain More Buddhist Hells

9/3/2018
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Here are the last four Buddhist Hot Hells for your enjoyment. There is extreme heat, much screaming, and a flaming rooster. Also, I was able to catch a local summer festival on the binaural mics. That is very cool.

Duration:00:09:46

Episode 21: Screaming and Crushing in Four Buddhist Hells

8/14/2018
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The first of two podcasts this month, Episode 21: Screaming and Crushing in Four Buddhist Hells, is just about that, four of the eight Buddhist Hot Hells. Come listen to what happens when you kill a mosquito, commit mutiny, or convince your drunken friend to do your evil bidding. Also, you don't want to lie, lest an oni pull your tongue out with red hot pliers. Look. That's what it says right up there. Notes: The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (from the...

Duration:00:11:48

Episode 21: Screaming and Crushing in Four Buddhist Hells

8/14/2018
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The first of two podcasts this month, Episode 21: Screaming and Crushing in Four Buddhist Hells, is just about that, four of the eight Buddhist Hot Hells. Come listen to what happens when you kill a mosquito, commit mutiny, or convince your drunken friend to do your evil bidding. Also, you don’t want to lie, lest an oni pull your tongue out with red hot pliers. Look. That’s what it says right up there. The post Episode 21: Screaming and Crushing in Four Buddhist Hells appeared first on...

Duration:00:11:48

Episode 20: Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks (Funadama, Funa Yurei, Umi Bozu)

7/19/2018
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The third Monday of July is Umi no Hi (海の日), Marine Day, so this month on Uncanny Japan I decided to talk about three otherworldly ocean creatures: Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks. Funa dama (船霊), funa yurei (船幽霊), and umi bozu (海坊主). This month’s Bedtime Story (over on Patreon) is a folktale I translated called: The Umbrella Sea Monster. Umi Bozu Notes: The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (from the album Ting Shuo). The post Episode 20: Ship...

Duration:00:09:56

Episode 20: Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks (Funadama, Funa Yurei, Umi Bozu)

7/19/2018
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The third Monday of July is Umi no Hi (海の日), Marine Day, so this month on Uncanny Japan I decided to talk about three otherworldly ocean creatures: Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks. Funa dama (船霊), funa yurei (船幽霊), and umi bozu (海坊主). This month's Bedtime Story (over on Patreon) is a folktale I translated called: The Umbrella Sea Monster. Notes: The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (from the album Ting Shuo).

Duration:00:09:56

Episode 19: The Heavenly Demon (Amanojaku) + Bedtime Story!

6/26/2018
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This month's podcast is a special one. Not only did I do a podcast about a strange little creature called the amanojaku (天邪鬼), but at the end I attached one of my Bedtime Stories that I record monthly for my Patrons. So if you stay tuned after the podcast (a whopping 10 minutes), you'll be treated to my interpretation (the happy-ending version) of Urikohime (瓜子姫), The Melon Princess and the Amanojaku. The podcast: The amanojaku is a nasty Japanese beastie that predates Buddhism, might have...

Duration:00:29:15