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Category: Japanese language

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.

Episode 2: Hatsu-yume – 初夢

Episode 2: Hatsu-yume – 初夢

Hatsu-yume is the first dream you have in the New Year. In Japan there is a saying: ichi fuji, ni taka, san nasubi. Which means the luckiest dream you can have is of Mt. Fuji, the second luckiest thing to see in a dream is a hawk, and the third is an eggplant.

In this podcast I tell you why an eggplant is considered prosperous and also talk about the little known fourth, fifth, and sixth lucky things to dream about to guarantee a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

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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 1: Musha-burui — 武者震い

Episode 1: Musha-burui — 武者震い

Musha-burui is that trembling with excitement, anticipation, and fear one has before engaging in a formidable task. It comes from the idea of a samurai going headlong into battle. Musha 武者 means samurai or warrior. Burui 震い comes from the verb furu 震う, to shake or tremble.

This is what I’m feeling recording my first podcast: musha-burui.

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.