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Story Time – Sand Walls, Paper Doors (Ep. 50)

I want to celebrate my fiftieth episode by reading my yokai story, “Sand Walls, Paper Doors” from my book A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories. This is the one that got me my book deal, my agent, and my best friend. Also, yokai, lots of yokai.

I’m also going to announce a super-sekrit project Rich Pav and I have just embarked on. Hint: Horror Audio Drama.

Thank you for listening, sharing, and reaching out these past three and a half years. I’m looking forward to the next fifty episodes!


Book Cover: A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories

You can also find me on:


Notes: Intro/Outro by Julyan Ray Matsuura. Here and here. And here.

Music by:

Sovereign by Kevin MacLeod

Bicycle by Kevin MacLeod

Luminous Rain by Kevin MacLeod

Heartbreaking by Kevin MacLeod

Thinking Music by Kevin MacLeod

Umbrella Pants by Kevin MacLeod

Clear Waters by Kevin MacLeod

Cryptic Sorrow by Kevin MacLeod

Immersed by Kevin MacLeod


Hey, hey, everyone, I hope this podcast finds you all your loved ones healthy and safe and staying as sane as possible in this upside-down world.

I’m really happy to say this is my 50th episode of Uncanny Japan. I started the podcast on October 30, 2016. So it’s taken about three and a half years to get here, and I’m really happy I’m here. And I’m happy you’re here, too.

One of the reasons I started Uncanny Japan was because given my circumstances I thought I had a bit of a different perspective on Japanese culture and I wanted to share that.

But that wasn’t the only reason. Doing this was also a way of getting through a very difficult time in my life. As fate would have it, things got even more difficult before they got better. And they were just starting to get a lot better when boom now, we have this heinous virus that is ravaging the world. The podcast has always been something I look forward to, a means for escape even. And I really hope the shows can also help you put down the outside world for a few minutes as well.

Since it’s my 50th episode, I want to give a couple thank yous. First, I want thank the guy who without his help this show never would have been or be. Rich Pav. He’s the one who lent me my first binaural mic and has stood on the sidelines and cheered me on as well as been master of everything sound and tech related. If you don’t believe in miracles, just listen to my first episode that I did all by myself and compare it to now.

I also want to thank all my Patrons. They are all so wonderful and they’re the other reason I’m still doing this show. Because without their support I couldn’t afford to do this at all. I care for and appreciate every single one of them.

And finally, I want to thank you, dear listeners,  your messages, emails, reviews, or just subscribing to the show. If I didn’t think anyone was listening, this really wouldn’t have lasted too long.

For my 50th episode I want to announce some fun news I’m very excited about. If you remember the past episode, 49, the cheesy one about finding an amabie, well, that was such a joy to make that I started thinking about doing something different, longer, horror-related, and involving this old house I’m living in.

Rich Pav and I have spent entire days brainstorming and outlining and scripting a horror audio drama that we’re going to start recording soon. This is going to be so much fun, I can’t even. It’ll be 11 episodes, with patrons getting early access, bonus content, behind the scenes, bloopers, stuff like that. This is going to be a grab your headphones and turn off the lights kinda show. Of course, Uncanny Japan will come out as usual, twice a month. The audio drama will be and Uncanny Japan presents kinda thing.

I’ll let you know here how that’s going and when it’ll be getting it up.

Now for today’s episode:

I haven’t done a story in awhile and I think I’ve only ever done one of my stories here, way back at the beginning in episode 7, I did a very short piece I wrote about the senninbari, or thousand stitched belt.

Today I want to read a short story that is dear to my heart. It’s the first story I wrote after I decided I want to seriously do this writing thing, back in 1993 or 4 or something.

Also, it’s quite autobiographical. I’ll go into more details about which parts are really real and which are made up, over on Patreon.

Another reason this story means a lot to me is that it’s the reason I got the first book deal. I cold queried a publisher with this story and got my first book deal. It’s also the story that helped woo get my rockin’ agent and it’s the story my sound/tech man, Rich Pav, read when we only knew each other on Twitter and he reached out to message me how much he really loved it.

Oh, and yokai. There are quite a few yokai involved in it as well.

So anyway, it’s got a lot of good memories attached to it. And in this chaotic time, for my 50th episode, I think I want to share it with you. It’s called Sand Walls, Paper Doors.

*story* (Sorry I can’t transcribe it. I only have the audio rights.)

Thank you all for listening. Stay safe and I’ll talk to you again in two weeks.

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