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Category: Japanese Superstitions 

Japanese Superstitions II: Spider Lilies and Ghostly Trees (Ep. 41)

Why is the beautiful spider lily also called a corpse flower? Why didn't samurai keep camellias in their gardens? Why do Japanese ghosts like to hang out under weeping willows? On this episode of Uncanny Japan I'll take on a few more Japanese superstitions, but this time plant and flower-related stories.
Yanagi Onna by Takehara Shunsensai

Oni Kara Denwa: The Ogre App to Discipline Your Child (Ep. 37)

Ever since I saw a mother discipline her child by threatening to call an oni/ogre, I've been wanting to do talk about this. Then I found out it really is a thing, an app called Oni Kara Denwa (A Call From an Oni, or as it's translated in Japanese: Ghost Call)
kappa

Inviting a Friend to Die (Rokuyo) (Ep. 15)

The rokuyo or six days is the Japanese calendar that you consult when preparing to engage in various affairs: weddings, funerals, trips, and business dealings to name a few. Some days are good for some things, other days are good for others. Some days are just bad, bad, bad.
rokuyo

The Devil’s Gate (Kimon) (Ep. 11)

You have one. I have one. We all have one: a Devil's Gate. It's the place where oni (Japanese devils) sneak into your home, steal all your good luck and fine health, and scuttle away.
kimon

Senninbari: The Thousand-Stitch Belt (Ep. 7)

The senninbari or one thousand-stitch belt is a magical sash worn by soldiers in World War 2 to ward off enemies bullets and impart super human strength.
senninbari

Japanese Superstitions Part One (Ep. 6)

Three Japanese superstitions and why: 1) Don't cut your nails at night. 2) Don't whistle at night. 3) Do kill spiders at night...or don't, actually you might not want to. There's a good argument why you should let those night spiders live.
Ukioe cutting toenails

Koshin Shinko: The Three Worms in Your Body (Ep. 3)

Koshin Shinko is the belief that you are born with three worms (called sanshi) inside your body, and that these creatures' only purpose is to shorten your life so they can be free again.
koushin shinkou

Hatsuyume: Your First Dream of the New Year (Ep. 2)

Hatsu-yume is the first dream you have in the New Year. In Japan there is a saying: ichi fuji, ni taka, san nasubi, which means the luckiest dream you can have is of Mt. Fuji, the second luckiest thing to see in a dream is a hawk, and the third is an eggplant.
hatsuyume
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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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