Asian Ethnology Podcast

Interview with Tom Bauerle: Ghost Stories from Japan

Interviewer: Ben Dorman, co-editor Asian Ethnology

Recorded 14 February 2018, Nagoya

This episode’s guest is Tom Bauerle, the author of “Kanashibari”: True Encounters with the Paranormal in Japan. Although this is not an academic work, the author discusses the folkloric elements of ghost stories, in addition to presenting some of the content of his book.

Episode Summary

Intro :36

Introduction and experience with Japan; writing and storytelling 3:25

Folktales from Indiana 4:25

Writing in Nagoya 5:22

Discussion about the book, folklore, and recording experiences with the supernatural 7:16

Personal experiences 13:24

Reasons for publishing the book; perspectives on Japanese culture 14:06

Ghosts and real estate in Japan 17:21

Meaning of kanashibari 20:02

“Old women” and “young child” ghosts in Japan 22:06

Tsu city incident of 1956 24:02

Interviewing reibaishi (spirit mediums) & priests exorcising ghosts 28:45

Publication discussed in this episode

“Kanashibari”: True Encounters with the Paranormal in Japan. Asteroth's Books, 2017

Music used with kind permission of the performer, shamisen master Koji Yamaguchi.

Copyright 2020 by Asian Ethnology Podcast