Browsed by
Category: folktale

Episode 19: The Heavenly Demon (Amanojaku) + Bedtime Story!

Episode 19: The Heavenly Demon (Amanojaku) + Bedtime Story!

This month’s podcast is a special one. Not only did I do a podcast about a strange little creature called the amanojaku (天邪鬼), but at the end I attached one of my Bedtime Stories that I record monthly for my Patrons. So if you stay tuned after the podcast (a whopping 10 minutes), you’ll be treated to my interpretation (the happy-ending version) of Urikohime (瓜子姫), The Melon Princess and the Amanojaku.

The podcast: The amanojaku is a nasty Japanese beastie that predates Buddhism, might have originated from a Shinto deity, who you can usually find getting trampled on by the Four Heavenly Kings at temples all around Japan.

Amanojaku is also a word used to describe a contrary person.

I want to give super special thanks to my Tech Guy for working so hard on getting the sound so good. I’m not an attention-to-detail kind of person. But he is and works his butt off, not to mention he has mad skills. Thank you, Rich Pav!

Notes: The intro/outro music of Uncanny Japan is a song by Christiaan Virant (fromthe album Ting Shuo).  The music bed on the Bedtime Story is by Julyan Matsuura. I’m looking forward to having more of his songs accompanying my Bedtimes Stories and most likely the intro/outro soon.

Episode 18: The God of Smallpox (Housougami)

Episode 18: The God of Smallpox (Housougami)

Welcome to May’s Uncanny Japan. In this episode I talk about the God of Smallpox (housougami/疱瘡神). Come listen to the beliefs in this fearsome god and how dogs and the color red kept him at bay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     In the above picture you can see a child sick with smallpox and all the talismans

placed around him for protection. Notice all the red and the taisha, too. 

The above photo is of an aka-e (red picture) of a taisha (sea bream car).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Above is the samurai Tametomo scaring away the God of Smallpox.

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.

Episode 17: Granny Dumping Mountain (Ubasute Yama)

Episode 17: Granny Dumping Mountain (Ubasute Yama)

This month on Uncanny Japan I talk about Ubasuta Yama (姥捨山) or Granny Dumping Mountain. Back in old Japan when times were tough and there were too many mouths for one family to feed, they might do something called kuchi herashi (口減らし) or getting rid of mouths. One way to do this was to send one (or more) of your children to live with a wealthier family. Another way to cut down on the number of mouths that needed to be fed was to haul grandma or grandpa up into the mountains and leave them to fend for themselves. Some say it’s just a folktale, others say why of course this happened! What do you think?

I found a movie in Japanese called Dendera. It’s catch copy is: There is a Continuation to Ubasute Yama. And the is the poster for it. Brilliant!

ETA: The station in Nagano is Ubasute Eki (姨捨駅). I mention in the podcast that the first character for uba is little sister. I was wrong, it’s ‘aunt’. So throwing away aunts. Who I am supposing are older than little sisters.

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.

Episode 11: The Devil’s Gate (Kimon)

Episode 11: The Devil’s Gate (Kimon)

You have one. I have one. We all have one: a Devil’s Gate. It’s the place where oni (Japanese devils) sneak into your home, steal all your good luck and fine health, and scuttle away. It’s the place you have to be very careful about and treat with respect. The problem is, most of us have no idea where our Devil’s Gate (kimon) is, much less what to do to appease and/or keep out those pesky devils.

Walk with me in the pouring rain and listen to this month’s podcast. It’s all about your devil’s gate, where to find it, and what might be done to protect yourself and your family from those intrusive luck-nabbing oni.

A hanging talisman to ward off devils and ogres and oni. Hell, yeah!

 

This incident I talk about in the podcast (the moving and my mother-in-law) was the impetus for my short story “My Devil’s Gate” that was published in my first collection: A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories.

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.