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Category: Yokai 

Black-Toothed Yōkai (Ep. 123)

There are several yōkai with black teeth, the Ohagruo Bettari, the Ao Onna, and the Uwan. Is it their practice of ohaguro that makes them scary or something else?

Akaname: The Thoroughly Gross Scum Licker (Ep. 120)

Hey hey. This is Thersa Matsuura and you’re listening to Uncanny Japan.  Story of Meeting and Akaname Imagine it’s after dark. You’ve been up since dawn. All by yourself, all day long, you harvested your sweet potato fields before the weather turned bad. Then you dragged the heavy, potato-filled boxes into your kura-earthen storehouse, secured […]

How to find and identify your own Yokai (Ep. 118)

Explore the parallel world or ikai, and how it is inhabited not just by ghosts or spirits but also by yokai.

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

Hunting for a Tsuchinoko (Ep. 108)

The tsuchinoko is a mysterious, mythical creature that can be seen and heard all over Japan since ancient times, but not one has ever been captured.
Tsuchinoko wanted poster in Japanese

The Sickle Weasel: Kamaitachi (Ep. 105)

What do you know about the yōkai, the sickle weasel or kamaitachi? Imagine an adorable little weasel sporting obnoxiously long blades on its paws. It appears out of nowhere so suddenly you don’t even realize its attacked you, until later when you notice you’ve got a deep cut that strangely isn’t bleeding and doesn’t hurt. 
Kamaitachi Sickle Weasel
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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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