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Japanese Myths, Folktales, Folklore and Language


Utsuro-Bune: The Hollow (Space?) Ship (Ep. 78)

Today let's explore the strange legend of utsuro-bune, the hollow ship. Was Japan really visited by UFOs back in the early 1800s? Is there proof?

Story Time: “Kaguya-hime: The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon Princess” (Ep. 77)

Today I'll read to you, "The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon Princess" called Kaguya Hime in Japanese. It's an old tale that some believe talks about otherworldly visitors. Was the Moon Princess an extraterrestrial being? 
The Bamboo Cutter and Kaguya-Hime - Princess Kaguya

Fuujin and Raijin: The Gods of Thunder and Wind (Ep. 76)

Who are Fujin and Raijin  (the Japanese Wind God and Thunder God), where did they come from, and what do they do? Today I'll tell you about they originated in both India and a Japanese Goddesses' decaying body. 
Raijin - The God of Thunder

Story Time: “The Kappa’s Abyss” (Ep. 75)

Today's Story Time on Uncanny Japan is one I found in an old collection of Japanese folklore. It's about a couple of conniving kappa and an innocent young girl. It's called "The Kappa's Abyss."

Jigoku Tayuu: The Mysterious Hell Courtesan (Ep. 74)

The Hell Courtesan (Jigoku Tayuu) is a mysterious figure that appears in art and story in Japan since the 1600s. But who is this beautiful high-ranked oiran who wears a kimono covered in images of hell? Today I'll talk about her legend and relationship with the eccentric monk Ikkyuu.
hell courtesan ikkyu

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


Kan-no-mushi: Adorable Parasites Living Inside Your Spine (Ep. 71)

Let me tell you why your toddler might cry at night and throw tantrums. It could be a mythical parasite that lives in their spine. 
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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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