Uncanny Japan logo

Category: Japanese Buddhism 

Ryomen Sukuna: Awesome Saint or Japan-Destroying Demon? (Ep. 145)

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?

Abe no Seimei & His Mysterious Place Near Me (Ep. 143)

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).
A disembodied hand begins to draw Abe No Seimei.

The All-powerful Five Elements and You (Ep. 141)

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.
Handwriting calligraphy with black ink on white paper.

Joya no Kane: Purify Yourself With This Episode (Ep. 139)

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?
Artist's hand drawing a serene Japanese landscape with a bell tower and rising sun, symbolizing 'Joya no Kane,' a traditional end-of-year bell-ringing ceremony, on a sketchpad, with watercolors and a brush, against a backdrop of artistic tools.

Dōsojin: Cuddly and Carnal Road Side Statues (Ep. 126)

Dōsojin are "road ancestor deities" from ancient times. They're different than ojizo or rakan statues. So what are they? What do they do? And which prefecture has the wildest festival to celebrate them?
Dosojin

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.
Goshuin

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
1 2 3

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.

© Copyright 2024 Uncanny Productions
Buy Me a Coffee at Ko-Fi