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February 19, 2018

Inviting a Friend to Die (Rokuyo) (Ep. 15)

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The rokuyo (六曜) or six days is the Japanese calendar that you consult when preparing to engage in various affairs: weddings, funerals, trips, and business dealings to name a few. Some days are good for some things, other days are good for others. Some days are just bad, bad, bad.

If you take a good look at a lot of Japanese calendars and daily planners, they have two small kanji written in the corner of every day. These signify which of the six rokuyo that particular day is. You definitely don’t want to incur bad luck and have your wedding on a butsumetsu (仏滅) or invite a group of mourners to join the deceased loved one in the Buddha’s paradise by holding a funeral on a tomobiki (友引).

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This month’s podcast is all about the rokuyo. Come listen while you take a ride with me on the local train via binaural mics.


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.

8 comments on “Inviting a Friend to Die (Rokuyo) (Ep. 15)”

  1. I’m now going to insist that you have your Mother-In-Law on your podcast. Perhaps you could just record her gasping at different thing you say or do. LOL

    Great podcast. My studying was that The Buddha died in March. (I’m not sure how they figured this out and also they ‘translate’ it to a non-lunar calendar.) I don’t recall that being a day of mourning.

    1. It really will be a horror podcast if I get my mother-in-law on here. Although, funny, I bet, too.

  2. Congratulations on the award! I really appreciate the work you put into the depths of the meanings, such as the “pulling friends” day.

    1. I just now saw these comments. Thank you, William. Alas, William, I stayed only nominated. But it’s good. I’m very happy with this.

  3. For some reason the only episode that shows up for me on this page is Living Buddhas (episode 14), rather than episode 15! I would love to listen to it eventually 🙂 Really great work Thersa, and thank you!

  4. I love Japan and everything Japanese specially japanese rich culture. It is amazing or better say no word to describe it.
    Thanks for this podcast

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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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