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Category: Yokai 

Ningyo: The Ugly (and Delicious!) Japanese Mermaid (Ep. 83)

A Japanese mermaid is called a ningyo (人魚) or human fish. Today I'll tell you about their history, the good, the bad, and the delicious!
Japanese mermaid ningyo

The Adorably Creepy Tofu Kozo (Ep. 80)

The Tofu Kozo is a seemingly innocent little yokai who appears on rainy days offering a plate of tofu to unsuspecting people. What could possibly go wrong?
Tofu Kozo / Tofu Kozou

Adorable Tanuki: Fluffy, Shape-Shifting, and Lucky! (Ep. 72)

Tanuki are those adorable, magical animals you find all through Japanese history. They're in folktales, art, legend, and even in modern day manga and anime. On today's episode I'll talk about these furry, shape-shifting critters, touching on all the well known facts as well as some more obscure ones.

#Uncannytober: Oct 6


Baku: The Eater of Dreams (Ep. 65)

The baku is a Japanese mythical creature that, when invited, slips into your room at night to gobble up your nightmares.

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

Close Encounter With An Amabie (Ep. 49)

An amabie is a Japanese yokai that is said to have predicted a plague and then encouraged people to share its image to protect them from that previously predicted plague. Or something like that. The amabie has recently been re-remembered all over Japanese social media with people posting their own adorable depictions of that long-haired, beak-faced, three-footed creature and wishing the current plague (Covid-19) to go away.

The Kappa’s Fart (Ep. 48)

A kappa is a  small, scrawny, aquatic yokai with a parrot-like beak, a tortoise-style shell on its back, and an indentation on the top of its head full of water. They're found in rivers, lakes, ponds, and even coastal areas. But what do they do?  While recently kappa have been rebranded to be very kawaii, that hasn't always been the case. Listen to the newest episode of Uncanny Japan to find out how heinous these slimy critters can be. 

The Guest Room Child (Zashiki Warashi) (Ep. 47)

During sleep paralysis have you ever the feeling of a ghost child crawling on top of you? If so, you've probably experienced a zashiki warashi (Guest Room Child). But don't worry, they're not bad. In fact, they're the bringer of good luck and fortune.

#Uncannytober: Oct 10

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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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