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April 1, 2021

Tanuki Buttons: This Unbelievable Story Will Blow Your Mind! (Ep. 73)

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Here is it already April first and the cherry blossoms are blooming and spring is in the air. I think today is a good day to tell you a story I’ve been wanting to share for awhile now. Remember last episode when I talked about the tanuki? Well, keep all that in mind when you listen to today’s episode. Things are going to get weird.

Old painting of tanuki standing on hind legs


Researched, written, directed, & produced: Thersa Matsuura

Mixed, edited, & sound engineered: Rich Pav

Voice of Terrie and Richard: Terrie and Richard

Voice of tanuki buttons: Julyan Ray

Sniffles, snorts, and chomps of tanuki: Alan Smithee

Foley: Richard and Terrie

That one line about Caligula: Joe Robson

eating quail eggs like Caligula

Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura.

Atmospheres #9 – Outskirts Of Town by Brian Holtz Music
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7668-atmospheres-9-outskirts-of-town
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Mourning Background by MusicLFiles
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7660-mourning-background
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Freedom by Alexander Nakarada
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/4881-freedom
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Divertimento K131 by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/3663-divertimento-k131
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Peek-A-Boo by Brian Holtz Music
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7123-peek-a-boo
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Expanse by Alexander Nakarada
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/4846-the-expanse
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Dawn Of The Apocalypse by Rafael Krux
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/5627-dawn-of-the-apocalypse-
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

5 Am by Denis Sivtsev
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/5959-5-am
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

6 comments on “Tanuki Buttons: This Unbelievable Story Will Blow Your Mind! (Ep. 73)”

  1. This was a great episode! The tanuki looking at the moon reminded me of my stay in Japan, when I was living in an old house which apparently hosted also other tenants – hakubishin (masked palm civet). One night I heard some rumbling noises from outside my bedroom window, I slided the paper windows aside and saw a black, cute hakubishin examining every nook and cranny of the tilted roof. (It was a full moon night!) It noticed me, stopped and came closer, eventually leaning its front paws on my windowsill and looking directly into my eyes behind the glass without a hint of fear (I was a bit afraid, actually!) Then it turned around and hopped away without rush. At that time I didn’t know it was a fairly common animal in the Greater Tokyo area, so I thought it might have been some sort of a magical night with full moon and strange creatures. Anyway, after that I started hearing a lot of rumbling and other noises from under the roof pretty often, so I knew I wasn’t alone in the house. Oh and sometimes there were tanukis around the house as well (not IN the house, fortunately).

    I liked the gradation of your story! Some parts were truly scary (tanuki changing the button voice to “beer” – and I’m not even joking, it WAS scary!) and some really funny (tanuki dance party with EDM music). I like how you play with listener’s imagination and perception of what is true and what is a fiction. Thank you!

    1. Laura! I love your hakubishin story, the full moon, the paws on the windowsill, magical. Japanese old homes really have this otherworldly vibe to them, I swear. When we first got this place I noticed strange footprints all up and down the drain pipes…hakubishin! Although, we’ve yet to meet the critters. Also, thank you for listening and your comment. You made my day.

  2. Just came across your podcast.
    I am interested in Japanese ghost stories, Zen, tanuki and other critters, and in particular, all stories about my favorite Buddhist monk, Ikkyu, as well as the Hell Courtesan. Anything about old Japan.
    Look forward to reading more.

  3. ghosts, folklore, ukiyoe(woodblock prints), floating world (Yoshiwara and courtesans), culture (poetry-Haiku, Chado), arts and crafts (yakimono), music (shakuhachi), critters (tanuki and others), my Zen hero Ikkyu and other monks, old Japan- Edo, Meiji era, sumo
    All these and more about Japan and its people and fascinating culture.
    Thank you for illuminating us with your podcasts

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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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