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Category: Japanese Folktales 

Nami-Kozō: The Creepy Little Wave Boy (Ep. 142)

A nanafushigi (seven mysterious things) and a local yokai, the Nami Kozō or Wave Boy has a number of variations to his story, some involving real historical monks.
Sketch of a Nami Kozo with waves, artist's hand drawing.

The Legend of Shippeitaro (Ep. 119)

Shippei Taro is both a folktale and a nanafushigi (strange occurance). I'll tell you all about this local legend as well as read you my translation of the famous story.
Shippei Taro Figurines

Mayoiga: The Mysterious House You Find When You’re Lost (Ep. 90)

A mayoiga is a house that magically appears when you're lost in the forest or mountains. If you venture in, what will you find? What should you do?
Mayoiga Folktale

Story Time: “Kaguya-hime: The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon Princess” (Ep. 77)

Today I'll read to you, "The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon Princess" called Kaguya Hime in Japanese. It's an old tale that some believe talks about otherworldly visitors. Was the Moon Princess an extraterrestrial being? 
The Bamboo Cutter and Kaguya-Hime - Princess Kaguya

Bancho Sarayashiki: Okiku and the Nine Plates (Ep. 25)

Okiku, the poor servant girl who is still believed to haunt the well where she perished so many years ago. If you hear her count to nine, you too will die a horrible death. If you hear her but flee before she gets to seven, you may perhaps live, but you may also lose some of your mind.
Hokusai Sarayashiki

A Bedtime Story: Kachi-Kachi Mountain (Ep. 24)

This is my retelling and reimagining of a classic Japanese folktale Kachi Kachi Yama (Kachi Kachi Mountain). It is very PG and everyone friendly. The more true-to-the-original and very slightly R-rated is over as extra content on Patreon.
Kachi Kachi Yama

The Heavenly Demon (Amanojaku) + Bedtime Story! (Ep. 19)

The amanojaku is a nasty Japanese beastie that predates Buddhism, might have originated from a Shinto deity, who you can usually find getting trampled on by the Four Heavenly Kings at temples all around Japan. It's also used to describe a contrary person.

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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