show episodes
 
Speculative fiction writer, long-term resident of Japan and Bram Stoker Award finalist Thersa Matsuura explores all that is weird from Japan—strange superstitions, folklore and folktales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks. These are little treasures she digs up while doing research for her writing.
 
Helping you better understand Japan and the Japanese language one question at a time. Every episode Tony and Ryan--two guys with master's degrees in Japanese Language & Linguistics--draw on their experiences in Japan and extensive research in both Japanese and English to shed light on all aspects of Japan. From the many interesting quirks of the Japanese language to obscure Japanese history, as well as busting misconceptions about Japan held by both Japanese peole and Westerners, Tony and Ry ...
 
Every episode someone stops by Japan Station to talk about their connections to and interest in the fascinating place that is Japan. Host Tony Vega and his guests talk about things like Japanese pop culture, history, anime, manga, movies, music, video games, comedy, the impact of Japanese culture around the world, underground social movements, social issues in Japan, and much more. Episodes are released on the first of every month with bonus episodes occasionally being released on the 15th. ...
 
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show series
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast two members of the Kyoto-based metal band Cosmic Earth stop by to talk about their new album inspired by the Tokyo Olympics, the Kyoto heavy metal scene, and more. About Cosmic Earth Cosmic Earth is a Kyoto-based doom metal/stoner rock/heavy blues rock band founded by guitarist Takuya Yada in 2017. Cosmi…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: How do Japanese names work? Topics Discussed How people in Japan normally state their family name before their given name The complicated history of naming practices in Japan Commoners being prohibited from using family names during the Edo Period The Meiji era laws that mandated every Japanese person take a…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're talking about creepy apartments and Japanese ghosts with Japanese folklore expert, writer, and translator Zack Davisson. About Zack Davisson Zack Davisson is an award-winning translator, writer, and lecturer whose work focuses primarily on Japanese folklore. Davisson has written extensively about …
 
Yuurei are Japanese ghosts and they come in quite a few varieties, from the protecting shugorei to the vengeful and very dangerous onryou. Kahada Koheiji is an example of a male onryou. You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why do students in Hamamatsu City have to wear white underwear? Topics Discussed School rules concerning the color of a student's underwear The story of one student who ended up having to go bra-less after it was found that she was not wearing white underwear during a school trip Some of the reasons given fo…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is a tsuchinoko? Topics Discussed What a tsuchinoko is How you say "cryptid" in Japanese Tsuchinoko's status as a U.M.A. (Unidentified Mysterious Animal) What a tsuchinoko looks like Some of the abilities tsuchinoko are said to have The areas in Japan where tsuchinoko tend to live The sounds tsuchinoko …
 
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. You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan Facebook: h…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're joined by Stephen Tetsu to discuss the Japanese comedy & entertainment industry, as well as his life as a comedian in the largest talent agency in Japan: Yoshimoto Kōgyō. About Stephen Tetsu Stephen Tetsu is an owarai geinin (comedian) who is part of Yoshimoto Kōgyō, the largest talent agency in J…
 
This is a podcast which picks up a few interesting things that have appeared in the news in recent weeks. In this episode we have two stories from world news and one from science. In our first story, we discover that Tokyo is installing transparent public toilets in parks and other places. What is going on? Find out here: https://www.theguardian.co…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why does to "nyan nyan" mean to "have sex" in Japanese? Topics Discussed Japanese expressions/idioms related to cats What the Japanese expression neko no te mo karitai means and how it is used What pets are most popular in Japan The Japanese festival game of kingyosukui What the Japanese expression nekojita …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're exploring beliefs and traditions surrounding pregnancy in Japan, as well as how ideas about marriage have evolved in Japan since the Edo period. We also take a detour into the world of NES era game localization. About Dr. Amanda C. Seaman Dr. Amanda C. Seaman is a professor of Japanese language an…
 
You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/ Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mgCVsd YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqAtoUS51HDi2d96_aLv95w Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Does "hai" mean "bye" in Japanese? Topics Discussed How most people that don't speak Japanese would say "goodbye" in Japanese How sayonara/sayōnara is used fairly infrequently in Japanese Reasons why people in Japan tend not to use sayonara/sayōnara frequently The etymology of sayonara/sayōnara When the firs…
 
On this very special episode of the Japan Station podcast, we're joined by James from ALTInsider.com and The Inside Japan Podcast. James offers some advice for those looking to work in Japan and interviews Tony about his career and time in Japan. About The Inside Japan Podcast The Inside Japan Podcast is the only podcast on the internet telling you…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we learn what it's like going to school in Japan to become a seiyū (voice actor). About Reina (麗) Reina is a professional voice actor living in Tokyo. While originally from the U.K., Reina went to Japan with the intent of becoming a seiyū (voice actor). Her quest to enter the voice acting industry in Ja…
 
Koumare Ishi is one of the nanafushigi or seven mysterious occurrences from my area. The belief is that a rock is born from the side of the mountain, and when it falls the head abbot of the nearby temple, Daitoku, dies. It's been going on for hundreds of years, and even today there is a perfectly round stone poking halfway from the mountain. Below …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why are school rules in Japan so strict? Topics Discussed Experiences working at and attending Japanese schools A selection of "weird" school rules (kōsoku) from across Japan The history behind why school rules became strict in Japan The case of a female high school student who filed a lawsuit after her scho…
 
Bon Odori or Bon Dancing is a summer tradition held all over Japan. It's a chance for families to get together and have an enjoyable time dancing to the rhythmical music. Seeing as how the Obon season is also when ancestors visit from beyond the grave, they, too, can take part in the festivities if they wish. You can also find me on: Twitter: https…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, stand-up comedian Shuhei "Shoe" Murakami stops by to talk about how he went from almost dropping out of high school to performing stand-up comedy in English in Canada and the U.S. About Shuhei "Shoe" Murakami Shuhei "Shoe" Murakami is a stand-up comedian and actor from Tokyo. Currently Murakami is based…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: How do you create fake kanji? Topics Discussed Kanji radicals The composition of kanji Kanji reading strategies The "Original Kanji Contest" (Sōsaku Kanji Kontesuto) What yūrei-moji (ghost kanji/characters) are Why the kanji character for rice (米) is used to mean "meter" in Japanese The kanji based system us…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, localizer and author Matt Alt stops by to discuss the influence Japanese pop culture has had on the world. About Matt Alt Matt Alt is a localizer of Japanese games and manga. Together with Hiroko Yoda he founded the localization company AltJapan and has authored multiple books on Japanese folklore and h…
 
Ever wonder why a jellyfish looks the way they do? Well, the Japanese folktale "The Jellyfish Takes a Journey" (Kurage no Honenashi) tells you how that came about. Then after that folktale, I'll give you a little trivia about the connection between eel and seppuku. You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan Facebook: https:/…
 
This is a podcast which picks up a few interesting things that have appeared in the news in recent weeks. In this episode we have three stories related to the coronavirus. In our first story, we hear about a wonderful new test developed by scientists at Monash University in Australia. You read more about it here: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-h…
 
Japanese Plus Alpha is the latest podcast in the JapanKyo Podcast Network. Produced by Tony Vega, Japanese Plus Alpha focuses on the Japanese language and its many fascinating quirks. The show is designed as a fun way to learn about the Japanese language while at the same time gaining insight into Japanese history, culture, linguistics, and more. I…
 
Japanese Plus Alpha is the latest podcast in the JapanKyo Podcast Network. Produced by Tony Vega, Japanese Plus Alpha focuses on the Japanese language and its many fascinating quirks. The show is designed as a fun way to learn about the Japanese language while at the same time gaining insight into Japanese history, culture, linguistics, and more. I…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What's so scary about the hour of the ox? Topics Discussed All about Japan's old way of telling time that was based on the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac (eto) Which "animals" in the old Chinese Zodiac based way of telling time correspond to which hours in the modern way of telling time Why the "hour of th…
 
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