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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
 
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 ...
 
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show series
 
A misemono is like a carnival, museum, zoo, and freak show all rolled into one. Here you could see exotic animals, buy cure-all medicines, and check out mermaid mummies among many, many other thrills. Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Storie…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why do hands come out of the toilet in Japan? Topics Discussed Japanese stories/legends/folklore/urban legends (toshi densetsu) involving hands, toilets and hands coming out of toilets The hand in the bathroom/toilet from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask The story of Akai Kami Aoi Kami (Red Paper, Blue Pap…
 
A Japanese mermaid is called a ningyo (人魚) or human fish. Today I'll tell you about their history, the good, the bad, and the delicious! Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on A…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Is Yamaguchi cursed to have "ugly" girls? We also discuss other places in Japan known for having many beautiful/ugly women. Topics Discussed The three most scenic views in Japan What the Sandaibijin (三大美人) is What places in Japan are most known for having beautiful women Fukuoka (Hakata), Akita, and Kyoto's …
 
It's Obon and today I want to read to you an essay by Lafcadio Hearn. He wrote it about the town he would stay at during summers, the town I've lived in for 25 plus years. Here he talks not just about the lantern floating ceremony, but also the ocean and ghost and gods and how we humans fit into it all. Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the s…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Does "Your Name" live up to the hype? Topics Discussed Whether the movie Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) is as good as many people say it is The reception of Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) within Japan and abroad The basic plot of Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) Some potential problems with the plot of Your Name (Kimi no Na …
 
How do you build a bridge that stands up to storms and floods? Well, you have to appease the nature gods, of course. But how do you do that? Human sacrifice seemed to have worked in the past. Today I'll talk about hitobashira or human pillars. An ancient tradition of insuring strong river banks, fireproof castles, and tunnels that won't collapse. V…
 
For more information on B & B Bad Sisters, check out the official website. https://bbbadsisters.com/ Here's the link for the B & B Bad Sisters NFT shop. https://opensea.io/kazuomaekawa Follow B & B Bad Sisters on social media. Twitter https://twitter.com/bbbadsisters Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bbbadsisters Instagram https://www.instagram.com…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What are Japan's most famous dogs? Topics Discussed Who Japan's most famous dogs are About Yukimaru, Prince Shotoku Taishi's beloved dog About Prince Shotoku Taishi Yukimaru's supposed ability to talk to Shotoku Taishi and chant Buddhist sutras The drone Nara made based on Yukimaru Sakhalin huskies/Karafuto-…
 
The Tofu Kozo is a seemingly innocent little yokai who appears on rainy days offering a plate of tofu to unsuspecting people. What could possibly go wrong? Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What was good and bad about your JET experience? Topics Discussed What the JET Programme is The various positions available to JET applicants Some troubles experienced while on the JET Programme Rural placements Japan's shrinking population On getting placed in Yamagata Prefecture On the lack of privacy that…
 
Let's say you have a plague of insects, like millions of cicada awakening after a years-long slumber. Or worse, bugs that would rather devour your crops. And let's say this is happening 200 years ago so you don't have your pesticides or DDT to wipe them out. What do you do? Why you have an absolutely delightful festival, with dances, and Buddhist o…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Did Tama-chan the seal save the world and cause immigration reform? Topics Discussed The story of the famous seal that appeared in Tokyo's Tama River in the summer of 2002 About Tama-chan the seal How Tama-chan being granted a jūminhyō (residency certificate) by Yokohama's Nishi Ward led to foreigners protes…
 
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 …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is a yankī or furyō? Topics Discussed What a furyō is The literal meaning of furyō All about juvenile delinquent culture in Japan The possible origin of the term furyō What a yankī is The possible origins of the Japanese term yankī and its links to Osaka's Amemura area What a tsuppari is Classic furyo f…
 
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? Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Uncanny Japan is author Th…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Is the story of Kaguya Hime proof that aliens have visited Japan? Topics Discussed An overview of the story of Kaguya Hime (Taketori Monogatari, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) The history of Taketori Monogatari How the tale of Kaguya Hime is sometimes called Japan's first science fiction story Peculiarities …
 
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. Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stor…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: How do you count that in Japanese? Topics Discussed The counter system used in Japanese Japanese counter suffixes The sometimes confusing nature of Japanese counters The correct suffix for counting chopsticks in Japanese Various counters used with different kinds of chopsticks How to properly count squid in …
 
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." Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is Kansai-ben? Topics Discussed What the Kansai dilaect is The different that are found within the Kansai region of Japan Osaka-ben vs other dialects within the Kansai-ben umbrella The stereotype of the Ōsaka no obachan (older lady from Osaka) Leopard print clothing Who uses ōkini and where it is typica…
 
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. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japa…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Are rabbits counted as birds because eating meat was taboo in Japan? Topics Discussed The practice of counting rabbits as if they were birds in Japanese Whether Japanese people eat meat What exactly qualifies as meat The history of meats "bans" in Japan The hypocritical and dubious nature of meat "bans" in J…
 
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 …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Do students in Saga Prefecture still have to wear white underwear? Topics Discussed The decision by Saga Prefecture's Board of Education to get rid of an existing rule in some of its schools that made it mandatory for students to wear white underwear under their school uniforms The possibility that some scho…
 
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 ep…
 
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