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Uncanny Japan - Japanese Folklore, Folktales, Myths and Language
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Uncanny Japan - Japanese Folklore, Folktales, Myths and Language

Author: Thersa Matsuura

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Looking for a podcast on Japan's mysterious culture? Try listening to Thersa Matsuura's Uncanny Japan Podcast and experience all that is weird about Japan—strange superstitions, folktales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks—and not found anywhere else!

Show notes and transcripts available at uncannyjapan.com
79 Episodes
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We’re being visited by UAPs, Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. Or you might be more familiar with their older name: UFOs. There is a lot of interesting news coming out these days. You’ve probably seen it. Well, guess what, they’ve been coming for quite awhile and I have proof. Today let’s talk about the utsuro-bune (虚舟) or utsuro-fune, the legend of the hollow ship. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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? Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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 their origins in India and a Japanese Goddesses' decaying body. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Today's Story Time 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." Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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? In this episode I talk about her legend and relationship with the eccentric monk Ikkyuu. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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. This version is safe for 8 year olds and grandmothers. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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. Warning: This episode violates the Third Commandment, contains references to male anatomy and has uncensored words that could infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war. Not safe for 8 year olds. Listener discretion is advised. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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. In this episode I'll talk about these furry, shape-shifting critters, touching on all the well known facts as well as some more obscure ones. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Let me tell you why your toddler might cry at night and throw tantrums and what you can do to remedy. It could be a mythical parasite that lives in their spine. Any you might them, too. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Everyone is familiar with the Three Wise Monkeys or as they're called in Japan Sanzaru (Three Monkeys). But did you know the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Say No Evil creatures are actually a Japanese play on words? They're also an important part of an old folk belief that has to do with three worms escaping your body and a large deity with six arms and a blue face who vows to protect you. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website for the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
A Muramasa blade is one of exceptional quality and great bloodlust. It's called a youtou (妖刀) in Japanese. Depending on how you translate that, it could mean cursed sword, mystic sword, or demon sword. In this episode I talk about one of the most well known youtou made by Muramasa Sengo. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website for the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Dreamsphere 1 by Sascha Ende Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/196-dreamsphere-1 License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
In Japan the Shichifukujin or Seven Lucky Gods appear in a boat on the first day of the year to impart various kinds of luck on those they deem worthy. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
The year 2021 is the Year of the Ox according to the animal zodiac. But what does that mean? On today's show I'll talk a little about the character of people born in this year, what to expect in 2021, and why the ox -- who should have been the first animal in the zodiac lineup -- got beaten by a rat. I also have a super special announcement. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Summer Ambient Piano by Rafael Krux Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/5504-summer-ambient-piano- License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license Chinese Dreams by MusicLFiles Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6318-chinese-dreams License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license Star Brightness In Dark Space by MusicLFiles Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7210-star-brightness-in-dark-space License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Toshikoshi soba is the Japanese tradition of eating soba noodles on New Year's Eve. It's a custom that has continued since the 1700s. There are quite a few reasons why. Some have to do with long life, wealth, and breaking off all the hardships from the previous year. In this episode of Uncanny Japan I'll talk about the history, the different names it goes by, and how you, too, can participate in this delicious tradition. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
The baku (獏) is a Japanese mythical creature that, when invited, slips into your room at night to gobble up your nightmares. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Diving In The Oceans Of Kepler by MusicLFiles Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/7062-diving-in-the-oceans-of-kepler License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
"The Dream of Akinosuke" is Lafcadio Hearn's translation of a sweet Japanese (originally Chinese) folktale. In it you'll learn how insects can manipulate a person's soul. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Let's visit some local haunted areas or shinrei supotto in Japanese. The Suicide Forest, a very haunted tunnel, and a Severed Head Grave are all in today's show. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Yuurei are Japanese ghosts and they come in quite a few varieties, from the protecting shugorei to the vengeful and very dangerous onryou. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
An oiran is not a geisha. Although at first glance they may look alike, one is a more reserved entertainer who is still in existence today. The other is a high courtesan, long disappeared, who wore flamboyant brightly-colored kimono and walked on 20 centimeter high geta. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
Kanreki is the celebration of a 60th birthday. They’ll don a red vest, called a chanchanko, a red billowy hat, called an e-boshi and be given a white fan to hold. Yakudoshi are the ages you're believed to be more susceptible to sickness, misfortune or some other disaster. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Traveling Through The Wonderful Universe by MusicLFiles Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/6608-traveling-through-the-wonderful-universe License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
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Comments (9)

Shaun Flanagan

素晴らしいポッドキャストだと思います。

Jul 1st
Reply

rondunnett

I think this is your best episode yet. Wonderful story telling.

Apr 5th
Reply

nostalgicsapphic

he must have a hated clifford

Dec 17th
Reply (1)

Shivangi Sharma

completely hooked <3

Aug 19th
Reply

j8kmichael

I love your voice and the stories are fascinating!

Apr 18th
Reply

Henry Ha

awesome podcast

Mar 21st
Reply

Ray Morton

Really love the show!

Apr 10th
Reply

Fox Skidmore

best podcast i have ran into yet, highly recommend

Feb 7th
Reply
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