ubasuteyama
Japanese Folklore

Granny Dumping Mountain (Ubasuteyama) (Ep. 17)

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, or getting rid of mouths by sending your children to live with a wealthier family or hauling grandma or grandpa up into the mountains and leave them to fend for themselves.

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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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gaki
Japanese Buddhism

Hungry Ghosts (Gaki) (Ep. 10)

Living a life of luxury while being selfish and coveting your neighbors goodies just might lead you to another spin on this Wheel of Life. This means after you die you’ll be reborn not as a human again, not even as a squirrel in someone’s backyard. You might just come back as a hungry ghost, and let me tell you why that’s not a very good thing.

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eggplant and cucumber horses
Japanese Holidays

Obon Part One: On Cucumber Horses They Ride (Ep. 8)

Obon is the time of year when all the ancestors’ spirits make the long haul back to the world of the living to pay a visit. Butsudan altars are decorated to the hilt and families wait expectantly for grandma and grandpa, great grandma and great grandpa (not to mention great, great, great grandma and grandpa) to arrive and hang out.

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Ukioe cutting toenails
Japanese Superstitions

Japanese Superstitions 1 (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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