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Uncanny Japan

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Uncanny Japan explores that is weird from old Japan. Strange superstitions, old wives tales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks. There are little treasures dug up while doing research for my writing, and I want to share them with you here.

Uncanny Japan explores that is weird from old Japan. Strange superstitions, old wives tales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks. There are little treasures dug up while doing research for my writing, and I want to share them with you here.
More Information

Location:

yaizu, Japan

Description:

Uncanny Japan explores that is weird from old Japan. Strange superstitions, old wives tales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks. There are little treasures dug up while doing research for my writing, and I want to share them with you here.

Language:

English


Episodes

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
More
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...

Duration:00:29:15

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

6/26/2018
More
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... Read More Read...

Duration:00:29:02

Episode 18: The God of Smallpox (Housougami)

5/18/2018
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Welcome to May's Uncanny Japan. In this episode I talk about the God of Smallpox (housougami/疱瘡神). Come listen to the beliefs in this fearsome god and how dogs and the color red kept him at bay. Notes: The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (“Yi Gui” from Ting Shuo). The whole album is just gorgeous as it everything else by FM3.

Duration:00:10:09

Episode 18: The God of Smallpox (Housougami)

5/18/2018
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Welcome to May’s Uncanny Japan. In this episode I talk about the God of Smallpox (housougami/疱瘡神). Come listen to the beliefs in this fearsome god and how dogs and the color red kept him at bay. ... Read More Read More The post Episode 18: The God of Smallpox (Housougami) appeared first on Uncanny Japan.

Duration:00:10:09

Episode 17: Granny Dumping Mountain (Ubasute Yama)

4/20/2018
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This month on Uncanny Japan I talk about Ubasuta Yama (姥捨山) or Granny Dumping Mountain. Back in old Japan when times were tough and there were too many mouths for one family to feed, they might do something called kuchi herashi (口減らし) or getting rid of mouths. One way to do this was to send one (or more) of your children to live with a wealthier family. Another way to cut down on the number of mouths that needed to be fed was to haul grandma or grandpa up into the mountains and leave them...

Duration:00:08:56

Episode 17: Granny Dumping Mountain (Ubasute Yama)

4/19/2018
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This month on Uncanny Japan I talk about Ubasuta Yama (姥捨山) or Granny Dumping Mountain. Back in old Japan when times were tough and there were too many mouths for one family to feed, they might do something called kuchi herashi (口減らし) or getting rid of mouths. One way to do this was to send one (or more) of your children to live with a wealthier family. Another way to cut down on the number of mouths that needed to be... Read More Read More The post Episode 17: Granny Dumping Mountain...

Duration:00:08:56

Episode 16: Playing Hide and Seek by Yourself (Hitori Kakurenbo)

3/17/2018
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(Transcript available) Hitori kakurenbo (一人隠れん坊 ) means playing hide and seek by yourself. It sounds silly, but it's actually a super creepy, Japanese urban myth that involves you all alone at night with nothing but a stuffed animal, some red thread, and a knife. Come listen to this month's Uncanny Japan where I talk about how to play hitori kakurenbo while my binaural mics pick up all the sounds of sitting beside a river at dusk. This month is the first time there's a transcript of the...

Duration:00:10:53

Episode 16: Playing Hide and Seek by Yourself (Hitori Kakurenbo)

3/17/2018
More
(Transcript available) Hitori kakurenbo (一人隠れん坊 ) means playing hide and seek by yourself. It sounds silly, but it’s actually a super creepy, Japanese urban myth that involves you all alone at night with nothing but a stuffed animal, some red thread, and a knife. Come listen to this month’s Uncanny Japan where I talk about how to play hitori kakurenbo while my binaural mics pick up all the sounds of sitting beside a river at dusk. This month is the... Read More Read More The post Episode...

Duration:00:10:53

Episode 15: Inviting a Friend to Die (Rokuyo)

2/19/2018
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The rokuyo (六曜) or six days is the Japanese calendar that you consult when preparing to engage in various affairs: wedding, funerals, trips, and business dealings to name a few. Some days are good for some things, other days are good for others. Some days are just bad, bad, bad. If you take a good look at a lot of Japanese calendars and daily planners, they have two small kanji written in the corner of every day. These signify which of the six rokuyo that particular day is. You definitely...

Duration:00:12:58

Episode 15: Inviting a Friend to Die (Rokuyo)

2/19/2018
More
The rokuyo (六曜) or six days is the Japanese calendar that you consult when preparing to engage in various affairs: wedding, funerals, trips, and business dealings to name a few. Some days are good for some things, other days are good for others. Some days are just bad, bad, bad. If you take a good look at a lot of Japanese calendars and daily planners, they have two small kanji written in the corner of every day. These signify which of... Read More Read More The post Episode 15: Inviting...

Duration:00:12:58

Episode 14: Living Buddhas-kinda… (Sokushinbutsu)

1/17/2018
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Listen to me talk about this wonderfully surreal thing I found: Living Buddhas (ikibotoke, 生き仏 or sokushinbutsu, 即身仏). The thing is, they're not really alive, at least not anymore. *cue scary music*... no, seriously, cue the scary music, things are going to get weird. Also, because I didn't mention it in the podcast the background of this month's Uncanny Japan was recorded at a local temple on New Year's Eve at midnight. The sounds you hear are the people milling around wishing each other a...

Duration:00:11:21

Episode 14: Living Buddhas-kinda… (Sokushinbutsu)

1/17/2018
More
Listen to me talk about this wonderfully surreal thing I found: Living Buddhas (ikibotoke, 生き仏 or sokushinbutsu, 即身仏). The thing is, they’re not really alive, at least not anymore. *cue scary music*… no, seriously, cue the scary music, things are going to get weird. Also, because I didn’t mention it in the podcast the background of this month’s Uncanny Japan was recorded at a local temple on New Year’s Eve at midnight. The sounds you hear are the people milling... Read More Read More The...

Duration:00:11:21