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Category: Japanese Buddhism 

Temple Statues: Why All the Red Bibs? (Ep. 114)

While strolling through the grounds of a Japanese temple or shrine you have no doubt seen the endearing sight of a statues decked out in red bibs. But why?
Red Bibs on foxes kitsune

Goshuin: Temple or Shrine Stamps (Ep. 112)

Goshuin are special stamps you can get when you visit a shrine or temple. In this episode I'll tell you what exactly they are, how to get them, and the manners involved.

The Unconnected Dead: Muenbotoke (Ep. 106)

Graves with no one to care for them are called muenbotoke. Learn about a temple that gathers all those ashes and bones and makes Buddhist statues out of them.
Muenbotoke Graves with No Connections

Tsuno Daishi: The Great Horned Master (Ep. 43)

When walking around Japan you might see a small rectangular piece of paper pasted near a front door or on a gate. On this paper is an image that can only be described as a demon or devil. While off-putting at first, this creepy little fellow isn't actually a bad guy; he's there to protect the family and household. On this episode of Uncanny Japan, I'm going to tell you why.

#Uncannytober: Oct 8

Tsuno Daishi

Daruma – He Cut Off His What?! (Ep. 40)

He’s the man who brought Chan to China and Zen to Japan. Some say he taught the Shaolin monks how to fight while other tales talk about how he invented green tea.
Inoue Setsuzan's Prostitute Plucking Daruma's Beard

Ojizo: Bound in Ropes Doused in Oil (Ep. 27)

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.

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

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

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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