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Category: Japanese Language 

Bug News: Body Parasites or Ghosts (Mushi no Shirase)? (Ep. 148)

Have you ever had a premonition or a foreboding feeling that turned out to be true? Was it a parasitic insect living in your belly or a ghost trying to tell you something?

Another Chilling Children’s Song – Tōryanse (Ep. 104)

Do you remember when I talked about "Kagome Kagome"? A Japanese children's song that had curiously unnerving lyrics. Guess what. That's not the only goosebump-raising children's song in Japan. There's another. Well, at least one more. Today I'm going to tell you about "Toryanse". Like "Kagome Kagome", even Japanese people get a very off vibe from the lyrics.
Japanese Children Playing Games at Sunset

Yokai Related Sayings (Becoming a Tengu) (Ep. 54)

What if someone told you that you were turning into a tengu, one of those red-faced, long-nosed goblins? What would they mean? In this episode of Uncanny Japan, I talk about a handful of Japanese sayings that are based on yokai.
fuda iriya kishimoujin

Goroawase: Tricky Japanese Numbers (Ep. 12)

Japanese numbers can be tricky. Four is thought to invite death. Nine brings suffering and agony. But hey, Eight is good! Learn about goroawase.

Musha-burui: Trembling Before a Formidable Task (Ep. 1)

Musha-burui is that trembling with excitement, anticipation, and fear one has before engaging in a formidable task. It comes from the idea of a samurai going headlong into battle.

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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