Episode 4: Monkeys and Monkey Lore!

Episode 4: Monkeys and Monkey Lore!

March’s Uncanny Japan podcast is all about monkeys and monkey lore — wordplay, superstition, and good luck charms. You can listen to that below.

Also, if you’re interested in me retelling/reimagining obscure Japanese folktales, take a look at my Patreon page. This month’s Bedtime Story (5$ and up reward) is “The Monkeys’ Ojizo Statue” (“Saru no Ojizo”).

(Me holding my smashed faced Sarubobo.)

Finally, below I give you a lucky saru. It’s a hanga-engraving I carved of a cheeky monkey flashing the peace sign while the character for ‘dream’ floats overhead. What could be luckier than that?

Thanks for listening!

Notes: The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (“Yi Gui” from Ting Shuo).  The whole album is just gorgeous, as it everything else by FM3.

 

6 thoughts on “Episode 4: Monkeys and Monkey Lore!

  1. I love the monkies. I couldn’t help thinking of the Monkey King stories from China. I wonder if they’re any relation?

  2. I’m a bit late the to the party, but…
    Many British, Australian and New Zealand people of a certain age will unknowingly be very familiar with the tale Saiyuuki that you mentioned in this episode.

    There was a Japanese TV production of Saiyuuki in the late 70s/early 80s that was overdubbed by the BBC retitled ‘Monkey’ or ‘Monkey Magic’ (it was also screened in Australia and New Zealand).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_(TV_series)

    When I was a child, it was shown at around 5pm every weeknight and me and my buddies LOVED it. To this day, it still has a cult feeling and its theme song remains very recognisable.

    But few fans of the show know the story’s true origin.

    Just found your podcast and am rapidly digesting all of the episodes! Thanks, it’s really interesting!

    1. I’m afraid I was in Japan and involved in watching other things. I totally missed the English-language version of Saiyuki. I wish I had seen it when it hit outside Japan. Thanks so much for listening, Stewart. New episode coming soon. It’s a wee bit creepy and gross.

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