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.
 
This is not your run-of-the-mill "Cool Japan" podcast. I want to explore the side of Japan outside of sushi & sumo ; anime & video games. People from all walks of life living in Japan sharing their stories, their trials and tribulations and their successes. People who are hungry for making it and People who have made it. This podcast is about my conversations with them.
 
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show series
 
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. Transcript Below. 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…
 
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. You ca…
 
The final episode this year. How fitting it ends with a former student of mine just returning to Japan a month ago. Ayako Tanaka was one of my students who’s always yearned for a life outside Japan. Most often I’d teach students who need to prepare for their overseas position, pursuing their MBA or university degree abroad. I’d put Ayako in the gro…
 
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. On this episode of Uncanny Japan I'll talk about the history, the different names …
 
On the sixth and finale in my series of talks with Japan-based podcasters, I virtually travelled to Hokkaido and had a chat with two Jujitsu-schooled, snowboarding crazed fellas that created a Sapporo-based podcast showcasing the locals on the “Ezo” frontlines. Aside from these charming hosts expressing their love of the Northern lands of Japan the…
 
The baku (獏) is a Japanese mythical creature that, when invited, slips into your room at night to gobble up your nightmares. Below is an example of the Takarabune (宝船) image with the old character for baku (獏) on the sail. Tuck this under your pillow on New Year's Eve for some extra lucky dreams. You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.co…
 
On the fifth installment of my chats with Japan-based podcasters, we...barely talk about Japan! But don’t skip this episode dear listeners. Japan 2.0 is a Kansai based-podcast that paints another shade of Japanese underground culture that David & Matt cherishes dearly and shares to all of you Japanophiles that hasn’t grasp the lowdown on the street…
 
"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. You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/ Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura Instagram: http…
 
In the fourth installment of my chat with Japan based Podcasters brings us back to what I would say is “essential” podcast listening when we talk about the foreigner community in the Tokyo area of Japan. Cliff showcases the honest and real international voices that have integrated in the international community here in Tokyo. If it’s one podcast in…
 
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. 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.i…
 
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 the third installment of my chats with other Japan-based podcasters, I step into Japanese myths and fables that are explained by Thersa, a fiction writer and long time Japan resident, who created Uncanny Japan Podcast. While doing research for her own publications, she has stumbled upon many cultural oddities and folklore that displays the rich,…
 
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…
 
Continuing with my series of chatting with other Japan-based podcasters, I want to push an up and coming podcast that cuts deep into Japanese politics and social commentary. Alicia, along with her co-host Mizuki have started +81 podcast with the drive to investigate what is going down with the state of affairs in current Japanese politics. They als…
 
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…
 
Here’s the first of my series of conversations with other Japan-based podcasters. Tim Romero needs no introduction: when it comes to one of the most reputable and popular Japan based podcasts dealing with entrepreneurs and innovation in Japan, Disrupting Japan is at the forefront in telling those stories. Having founded several startups in Japan fo…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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:/…
 
Why shouldn't you eat crab and watermelon together? What will happen if you don't eat all the rice in your bowl? Today I'll answer these and a whole lot more. Japanese food superstitions and sayings are quite interesting and sometimes funny. You can also find me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncann…
 
Tanabata is a Japanese festival based on the bizarre tale of two star-crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi. In episode 55, I'll tell you their story, explain a little about the origins and how it's celebrated today. Listen to the very end! Music thanks to: Celestial Background by TwisteriumMusic Link: https://soundcloud.com/twisterium/celestial-ba…
 
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