A crab and persimmon image
Japanese Superstitions

Food Superstitions and Sayings (Ep. 56)

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.

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Sekien's depiction of Ushi no Koku Mairi
Japanese Superstitions

Putting a Curse on Your Enemies (Ushi no Koku Mairi) (Ep. 52)

Ushi no Koku Mairi means visiting a shrine at the hour of the ox (between 1:00 and 3:00 am). It also means going there so you can put a curse on your enemy. Deriving from the legend of Hashi Hime (The Bridge Princess) and the Noh play Kanawa (The Iron Crown), this peculiar and frightening way of cursing those who have wronged you is definitely next level.

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Japanese Superstitions

Japanese Superstitions II: Spider Lilies and Ghostly Trees (Ep. 41)

Why is the beautiful Spider lily also called a corpse flower? Why didn’t samurai keep camellias in their gardens? Why do Japanese ghosts like to hang out under weeping willows?

On this episode of Uncanny Japan I’ll take on a few more Japanese superstitions, but this time plant and flower-related stories.

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rokuyo
Japanese Superstitions

Inviting a Friend to Die (Rokuyo) (Ep. 15)

The rokuyo or six days is the Japanese calendar that you consult when preparing to engage in various affairs: weddings, funerals, trips, and business dealings to name a few. Some days are good for some things, other days are good for others. Some days are just bad, bad, bad.

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kimon
Japanese Superstitions

The Devil’s Gate (Kimon) (Ep. 11)

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.

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Ukioe cutting toenails
Japanese Superstitions

Japanese Superstitions Part I (Ep. 6)

Three Japanese superstitions and why: 1) Don’t cut your nails at night. 2) Don’t whistle at night. 3) Do kill spiders at night…or don’t, actually you might not want to. There’s a good argument why you should let those night spiders live.

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hatsuyume
Japanese Superstitions

Hatsu-yume: Your First Dream of the New Year (Ep. 2)

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.

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