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Category: Japanese Myths 

Doom and Bloom: Cherry Blossom Folk Beliefs (Ep. 121)

Bloom and Gloom or Cherry Blossom Folk Beliefs or Sakura: The Wonderful and the Worrisome Hello there, I’m Thersa Matsuura and you’re listening to Uncanny Japan. What do you know about sakura or cherry blossoms? Let me guess, something like, every year in Japan when spring rears its balmy, bird-chirping, flower-budding head, the trees fill […]
sakura

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

Ushi Oni: The Bloodthirsty Cow Demon (Ep. 117)

There are a lot of legends and stories about the ushi oni, a dreadful yōkai that has the head of an ox and the body of a giant spider, with blades on its feet.
Ushi oni

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

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

Sakuragaike: A Tortured Snake-Dragon Loses it Scales, Pt 2 (Ep. 89)

Today I'll tell you part 2 of the Sakuragaike Legend (and nanafushigi!). What was waiting at the bottom of the lake? Why was the snake-dragon suffering and how did his old follower help him?
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.

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