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November 15, 2017

Goroawase: Tricky Japanese Numbers (Ep. 12)

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In this episode you’ll learn about goroawase. Japanese numbers can be tricky. Four is thought to invite death. Nine brings suffering and agony. But, hey! Eight is good!

goroawase: tricky Japanese numbers


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 “Goroawase: Tricky Japanese Numbers (Ep. 12)”

  1. Happy anniversary! Does the government (the ones that issue the numbers of license plates, housing plot numbers, and even pass the phone numbers to providers) take any of this into account? I’d hate to have a ‘bad number’ house that I was trying to sell!

    1. Thank you, Jeffrey! Good question. I’m pretty sure they avoid the bad numbers. Or if you tried to get one, they’d gently nudge you in a more auspicious direction. I’ve said numbers out loud (say, a phone number or something) and had my friends/students either giggle at the hidden meaning or gasp at its dire warning. I’m always like, “Wait, what? What did I say?!”

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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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