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September 13, 2017

Gaki: Hungry Ghosts (Ep. 10)

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Careful. Living a life of luxury while being selfish and coveting your neighbors goodies just might lead you to another spin on this Wheel of Life. This means after you die you’ll be reborn not as a human again, not even as a squirrel in someone’s backyard. You might just come back as a hungry ghost, and let me tell you why that’s not a very good thing.

This month’s podcast is about Japanese hungry ghosts or gaki in Japanese. Not for the feint of heart.

hungry ghost gaki zoshi arthistory


The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (“Yi Gui” from Ting Shuo).  The whole album is just gorgeous as it everything else by FM3.

2 comments on “Gaki: Hungry Ghosts (Ep. 10)”

  1. i saw a gaki aka hungry ghost once totally sober in broad daylight. it was one if those momemts you think you see something out of the corner of yr eye but when you look its gone…only this time it was still there staring back at me with total defeat in its eyes. i was certainly startled, but later after the initial shock wore off i felt pity for the thing, it looked so miserable. wierd thing is i had no idea what it was and started scouring the web. i finally found some old buddhist paintings and the gaki is portrayed almost exactly what i saw, maybe a bit more like golem from lord of the rings. super crazy but interesting experience.

    1. Woah, I can’t even imagine the impact that had. Gaki fascinate me, but also not something I’d want to run across. I still would love to do more research on them. Thank you for sharing 🙏

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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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