148 episodes

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.

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

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 333 Ratings

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.

    Ryomen Sukuna: Awesome Saint or Japan-Destroying Demon?

    Ryomen Sukuna: Awesome Saint or Japan-Destroying Demon?

    The two-faced, eight-limbed giant named Ryomen Sukuna has been around since very early Japan, still is he a Buddhism-protecting hero or a cursed demon who tried to destroy Japan?
    [This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]
    Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
    Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
    Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@UncannyJapan
    Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/uncannyjapan.bsky.social
    Mastodon: https://famichiki.jp/@UncannyJapan
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/
    Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thersa-Matsuura/e/B002CWZ73Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500180689&sr=8-1
    Buy Me a Coffee (one-time contribution): https://buymeacoffee.com/uncannyjapan
    Credits Intro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura
    Der Kristall - The Glade by Sascha Ende
    Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/12250-der-kristall-the-glade
    License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

    • 22 min
    Teru Teru Bōzu: Cute, Magical, Unsettling Origins

    Teru Teru Bōzu: Cute, Magical, Unsettling Origins

    You'll often see ghostly-looking dolls strung up in windows in Japan on rainy days. What do they mean and why are they a little creepy?
    [This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]
    Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Book of Japanese Folklore by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
    Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
    Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@UncannyJapan
    Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/uncannyjapan.bsky.social
    Mastodon: https://famichiki.jp/@UncannyJapan
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/
    Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thersa-Matsuura/e/B002CWZ73Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500180689&sr=8-1
    Buy Me a Coffee (one-time contribution): https://buymeacoffee.com/uncannyjapan
    Credits Intro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura
    Rain by Okami (龗)

    • 17 min
    Abe no Seimei & His Mysterious Place Near Me

    Abe no Seimei & His Mysterious Place Near Me

    Abe no Seimei was the greatest onmyōji in Japan. While he lived in Kyoto, he visited Shizuoka at some point and performed some magic, giving us another nanafushigi (seven mysterious things). 
    [This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]
    Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
    Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
    Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@UncannyJapan
    Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/uncannyjapan.bsky.social
    Mastodon: https://famichiki.jp/@UncannyJapan
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/
    Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thersa-Matsuura/e/B002CWZ73Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500180689&sr=8-1
    Buy Me a Coffee (one-time contribution): https://buymeacoffee.com/uncannyjapan
    Credits Intro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura

    • 20 min
    Nami-Kozō: The Creepy Little Wave Boy

    Nami-Kozō: The Creepy Little Wave Boy

    A nanafushigi (seven mysterious things) and a local yokai, the Nami Kozō or Wave Boy has a number of variations to his story, some involving real historical monks. 
    [This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]
    Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
    Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
    Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@UncannyJapan
    Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/uncannyjapan.bsky.social
    Mastodon: https://famichiki.jp/@UncannyJapan
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/
    Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thersa-Matsuura/e/B002CWZ73Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500180689&sr=8-1
    Buy Me a Coffee (one-time contribution): https://buymeacoffee.com/uncannyjapan
    Credits Intro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura

    • 18 min
    The All-powerful Five Elements and You

    The All-powerful Five Elements and You

    In Japan there are two types of Five Elements, the gogyo and the godai and you can find them all throughout Japanese culture-in tea ceremony, martial arts, acupuncture, herbalism, esoteric Buddhism, and even in cemeteries. 

    [This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]
    Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
    Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
    Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@UncannyJapan
    Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/uncannyjapan.bsky.social
    Mastodon: https://famichiki.jp/@UncannyJapan
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/
    Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thersa-Matsuura/e/B002CWZ73Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500180689&sr=8-1
    Buy Me a Coffee (one-time contribution): https://buymeacoffee.com/uncannyjapan
    Credits Intro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura

    • 19 min
    A Rollicking and Powerful Year of the Dragon 2024

    A Rollicking and Powerful Year of the Dragon 2024

    Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Happy New Year! This is Thersa Matsuura and you’re listening to Uncanny Japan, Season 8. We just moved from the year of the Rabbit to the Year of the Dragon and I want to tell you all about it. 

    [This description contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.]
    Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy by clicking on the Amazon link.  If you'd like to help support the podcast and have a bedtime story read to you monthly, please visit Patreon.
    Discord: https://discord.gg/XdMZTzmyUb
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thersamatsuura
    Website: https://www.uncannyjapan.com/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@UncannyJapan
    Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/uncannyjapan.bsky.social
    Mastodon: https://famichiki.jp/@UncannyJapan
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UncannyJapan
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uncannyjapan/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncannyjapan/
    Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thersa-Matsuura/e/B002CWZ73Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500180689&sr=8-1
    Buy Me a Coffee (one-time contribution): https://buymeacoffee.com/uncannyjapan
    Credits Intro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
333 Ratings

333 Ratings

jenniwren13 ,

Great fun and well done

I love all things Japan, and hope to visit someday. Meanwhile, this podcast offers the culture, ambience, history and humor I’m looking for. I highly recommend this podcast!

Jpngs ,

Great!

Love learning about so many aspects of Japanese folklore. A little difficult to hear in a few episodes here and there as there are often ambient/background sound, but I found that it works best on headphones in a quiet environment. Really immersive that way.

laconic reply ,

Thank you

It was very illuminating

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