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Japanese Myths, Folktales, Folklore and Language

Episodes

Ōkami: Japanese Wolf Part 1 (Ep. 109)

Kitsune are everywhere, games, manga, anime, artwork, guarding shrines, possessing people. But what do you know about Japanese wolves? Maybe not so much?
Drawing of Japanese Wolf

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 Unconnected Dead: Muenbotoke (Ep. 106)

Graves with no one to care for them are called muenbotoke. Learn about a temple that gathers all those ashes and bones and makes Buddhist statues out of them.
Muenbotoke Graves with No Connections

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

Another Chilling Children’s Song – Tōryanse (Ep. 104)

Do you remember when I talked about "Kagome Kagome"? A Japanese children's song that had curiously unnerving lyrics. Guess what. That's not the only goosebump-raising children's song in Japan. There's another. Well, at least one more. Today I'm going to tell you about "Toryanse". Like "Kagome Kagome", even Japanese people get a very off vibe from the lyrics.
Japanese Children Playing Games at Sunset
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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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