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Category: Japanese Culture 

Six New Year’s No-Nos (Ep. 115)

In old Japan there were six rules, six things you weren't allowed to do on the first three days of the New Year. How do you score on the Six No Nos List?
Ukiyoe image of two men fighting with Mount Fuji and rising sun in background

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 Killing Stone: Sessho Seki (Ep. 96)

It was all over the news: Japan's Infamous Killing Stone that was housing a chaotic, disaster inducing nine-tailed fox spirit, broke in half on March 5th. Is the fox spirit free? I'll tell you all about it on this episode.
Killing Stone Sessho Seki

Story Time: Tango no Hitobashira / The Human Pillar of Tango (Ep. 94)

Today I'm going to tell you a story called Tango no Hitobashira / The Human Pillar of Tango. It's an old folktale that I haven't found translated into English.
Hitobashira / Human Pillar

Chindon-ya: Eccentric Street Musicians (Ep. 92)

Who are these eccentric street musicians dressed in bright kimono playing drums, bells, clarinet, and saxophone marching down your street? What do they want?
Chindon-ya Boy

Misemono: Edo Era Freak Shows (Ep. 84)

A misemono is like a carnival, museum, zoo, and freak show all rolled into one. Here you could see exotic animals, buy cure-all medicines, and check out mermaid mummies among many, many other thrills.
Snake Boy from Misemono

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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