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Japanese Myths, Folktales, Folklore and Language


A Bedtime Story: Kachi-Kachi Mountain (Ep. 24)

This is my retelling and reimagining of a classic Japanese folktale Kachi Kachi Yama (Kachi Kachi Mountain). It is very PG and everyone friendly. The more true-to-the-original and very slightly R-rated is over as extra content on Patreon.
Kachi Kachi Yama

Kuchisake-Onna: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (Ep. 23)

Here are two urban myths that have always intrigued me: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (kuchisake onna) and The White Thread That Comes from Your Ear (mimi kara shiroi ito).

#Uncannytober: Oct 2

kuchisake onna

Screaming and Crushing in Four Buddhist Hells (Ep. 21)

Come listen to what happens when you kill a mosquito, commit mutiny, or convince your drunken friend to do your evil bidding. Also, you don't want to lie, lest an oni pull your tongue out with red hot pliers.
Buddhist Hells

Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks (Funadama, Funa Yurei, Umi Bozu) (Ep. 20)

The third Monday of July is Umi no Hi (Marine Day), so this month I decided to talk about three otherworldly ocean creatures: Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks.

#Uncannytober: Oct 1

funa yuurei

The Heavenly Demon (Amanojaku) + Bedtime Story! (Ep. 19)

The amanojaku is a nasty Japanese beastie that predates Buddhism, might have originated from a Shinto deity, who you can usually find getting trampled on by the Four Heavenly Kings at temples all around Japan. It's also used to describe a contrary person.

The God of Smallpox (Housougami) (Ep. 18)

In this episode I talk about the God of Smallpox (housougami). Come listen to the beliefs in this fearsome god and how dogs and the color red kept him at bay.

Granny Dumping Mountain (Ubasuteyama) (Ep. 17)

Back in old Japan when times were tough and there were too many mouths for one family to feed, they might do something called kuchi herashi, or getting rid of mouths by sending your children to live with a wealthier family or hauling grandma or grandpa up into the mountains and leave them to fend for themselves.
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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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