show episodes
 
Discover Japan through conversations with fascinating people. Every episode host Tony Vega is joined by a guest to talk about all aspects of Japan, including the Japanese language, history, Japanese pop culture, food, anime, manga, movies, music, comedy, the impact of Japanese culture around the world, underground social movements, social issues in Japan, and much more. Episodes are released on the first of every month. Bonus episodes are regularly released on the fifteenth of the month. For ...
 
Looking for a podcast on Japan's mysterious culture? Try listening to Thersa Matsuura's Uncanny Japan Podcast and experience all that is weird about Japan—strange superstitions, folktales, cultural oddities, and interesting language quirks—and not found anywhere else! Show notes and transcripts available at uncannyjapan.com
 
Helping you better understand Japan and the Japanese language one question at a time. Every episode Tony and Ryan--two guys with master's degrees in Japanese Language & Linguistics--draw on their experiences in Japan and extensive research in both Japanese and English to shed light on all aspects of Japan. From the many interesting quirks of the Japanese language to obscure Japanese history, as well as busting misconceptions about Japan held by both Japanese peole and Westerners, Tony and Ry ...
 
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show series
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: How do you count that in Japanese? Topics Discussed The counter system used in Japanese Japanese counter suffixes The sometimes confusing nature of Japanese counters The correct suffix for counting chopsticks in Japanese Various counters used with different kinds of chopsticks How to properly count squid in …
 
Today's Story Time is one I found in an old collection of Japanese folklore. It's about a couple of conniving kappa and an innocent young girl. It's called "The Kappa's Abyss." Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is The Soothing Stories Podcast. Check out her books including The Carp-Faced Boy on Amazon. If you'd like to help su…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Jan Bardsley talks about the fascinating world of Japan's maiko and geisha. About Dr. Jan Bardsley Dr. Jan Bardsley is Professor Emerita of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of Women and Democracy in Cold War Japan and the award-winning The Bluestockin…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What is Kansai-ben? Topics Discussed What the Kansai dilaect is The different that are found within the Kansai region of Japan Osaka-ben vs other dialects within the Kansai-ben umbrella The stereotype of the Ōsaka no obachan (older lady from Osaka) Leopard print clothing Who uses ōkini and where it is typica…
 
The Hell Courtesan (Jigoku Tayuu) is a mysterious figure that appears in art and story in Japan since the 1600s. But who is this beautiful high-ranked oiran who wears a kimono covered in images of hell? In this episode I talk about her legend and relationship with the eccentric monk Ikkyuu. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other show is…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Yuji Haraguchi--owner of multiple Japanese restaurants and the Osakana fish market in Brooklyn, New York--talks about his interest in food, his career, fish, ramen, and more. About Yuji Haraguchi Yuji Haraguchi has started and owned multiple Japanese restaurants in the United States and Japan. He is bas…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Are rabbits counted as birds because eating meat was taboo in Japan? Topics Discussed The practice of counting rabbits as if they were birds in Japanese Whether Japanese people eat meat What exactly qualifies as meat The history of meats "bans" in Japan The hypocritical and dubious nature of meat "bans" in J…
 
Here is it already April first and the cherry blossoms are blooming and spring is in the air. I think today is a good day to tell you a story I've been wanting to share for awhile now. Remember last episode when I talked about the tanuki? Well, keep all that in mind when you listen to today's episode. Things are going to get weird. This version is …
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Do students in Saga Prefecture still have to wear white underwear? Topics Discussed The decision by Saga Prefecture's Board of Education to get rid of an existing rule in some of its schools that made it mandatory for students to wear white underwear under their school uniforms The possibility that some scho…
 
Here is it already April first and the cherry blossoms are blooming and spring is in the air. I think today is a good day to tell you a story I've been wanting to share for awhile now. Remember last episode when I talked about the tanuki? Well, keep all that in mind when you listen to today's episode. Things are going to get weird. Warning: This ep…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka stops by to discuss what exactly washoku (Japanese cuisine) is and how the term was redefined in an effort to get it registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). About Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka Dr. Katarzy…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What should I know about Japan's Bubble Era? Topics Discussed What was Japan's "Bubble Era" The Japanese bubble economy of the late '80s and early '90s Examples of some of the over the top ways people are said to have spent money during Japan's bubble economy era Golden Bomber's "Dance My Generation" Bubble …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, journalist Dreux Richard stops by to discuss his new book Every Human Intention: Japan in the New Century. About Dreux Richard Dreux Richard is a writer and journalist. He has written extensively about Japan for publications such as The Japan Times, Metropolis Japan, and The New York Times. Dreux is als…
 
Tanuki are those adorable, magical animals you find all through Japanese history. They're in folktales, art, legend, and even in modern day manga and anime. In this episode I'll talk about these furry, shape-shifting critters, touching on all the well known facts as well as some more obscure ones. Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuura. Her other …
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony answers the question: How did you become so familiar with Japan? About Tony Vega Tony Vega is a writer, editor, and podcaster. He has lived in Japan as both a student and participant of the JET Programme. He possesses an M.A. in Japanese language and linguistics from the University of Hawaii at Man…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What first person pronoun should I use when speaking Japanese? Topics Discussed The most common first person pronouns used in Japanese The tendency for Japanese speakers to avoid using pronouns The lack of true pronouns in Japanese How choosing which first person Japanese pronoun to use can be confusing even…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we learn about one of Japan's most famous and popular group of samurai: the Shinsengumi. About Romulus Hillsborough Romulus Hillsborough is a researcher, writer and author of multiple books focusing on late Edo-early Meiji Period history. His books include Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Se…
 
Let me tell you why your toddler might cry at night and throw tantrums and what you can do to remedy. It could be a mythical parasite that lives in their spine. Any you might them, too. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Unca…
 
This is a podcast which picks up a few interesting things that have appeared in the news in recent weeks. This week we have stories in science, world news and the environment. In our first story, we hear about a strange bear attack in the USA. You can read more about it here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/19/alaska-woman-outhouse-att…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Do you have any funny or embarrassing Japanese mistake stories? Topics Discussed How "sayonara" is not used in most situations when saying "goodbye" in Japanese A mix up at a convenience store Getting used to referring to people in the Japanese language What exactly a rōtari is Being asian Dealing with peopl…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony talks to Dr. Patrick W. Galbraith about Japanese erotic comics (eromanga) and related issues such as censorship and Japanese obscenity laws. About Patrick W. Galbraith Dr. Patrick W. Galbraith is a lecturer at Senshu University in Tokyo. He is one of the world's leading experts on the topic of Akih…
 
Everyone is familiar with the Three Wise Monkeys or as they're called in Japan Sanzaru (Three Monkeys). But did you know the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Say No Evil creatures are actually a Japanese play on words? They're also an important part of an old folk belief that has to do with three worms escaping your body and a large deity with six arms a…
 
This is a podcast which picks up a few interesting things that have appeared in the news in recent weeks. This week we have three stories about animals. In our first story, we learn about a tiny chameleon in Madagascar. You can read more about it here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/05/seed-sized-chameleon-madagascar-world-tiniest…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Why did samurai have such weird haircuts? Topics Discussed What a chonmage is The Japanese people's pursuit of excellence of the hairstyle The historical origins of the topknots in Japan Hats and their connection to the topknot The supposed reason why samurai started using topknots and shaving the front of t…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony Vega talks to Kevin O'Shea, host of the Just Japan Podcast, about the unique experience he had in 2020 when he got stuck in Japan due to the coronavirus pandemic. About Kevin O'Shea Kevin O'Shea is a content creator, educator, and longtime resident of Japan. Aside from producing over 200 episodes o…
 
A Muramasa blade is one of exceptional quality and great bloodlust. It's called a youtou (妖刀) in Japanese. Depending on how you translate that, it could mean cursed sword, mystic sword, or demon sword. In this episode I talk about one of the most well known youtou made by Muramasa Sengo. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan w…
 
Step by step walkthrough of Duolingo Japanese. This episode features the Vacation section. Covering key vocabulary, grammar, and phrases. This audio comes from the full video lesson available on the Jappon YouTube channel. See the link below to watch. Watch the video lesson here: https://youtu.be/KM0sxr9L81g Visit Japponline.com for more Japanese L…
 
On this episode of Ichimon Japan we once again ask: What is the best Japanese name for a bear that isn't actually a bear? Topics Discussed Japanese names of animals that have "kuma" in them but are not actually bears What an anaguma is How you say badger in Japanese What a mujina is What honey badger is in Japanese What fukuroguma are What the word…
 
Step by step walkthrough of Duolingo Japanese. This episode features the Position section. Covering key vocabulary, grammar, and phrases. This audio comes from the full video lesson available on the Jappon YouTube channel. See the link below to watch. Watch the video lesson here: https://youtu.be/1Gg7Tj2MOi0 Visit Japponline.com for more Japanese L…
 
On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Tony Vega talks to one of the world's leading scholars on Edo Period Japanese literature: Dr. Robert Campbell. About Dr. Robert Campbell Dr. Robert Campbell is a literary scholar specializing in the literature of Edo era Japan. Since 2017 Dr. Campbell has served as the Director-General of the National I…
 
In Japan the Shichifukujin or Seven Lucky Gods appear in a boat on the first day of the year to impart various kinds of luck on those they deem worthy. Show Notes and Transcript Available Visit the Uncanny Japan website to read the show notes and transcript. Credits Intro and outro music by Julyan Ray Matsuura Uncanny Japan is author Thersa Matsuur…
 
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