Author Archives: Thersa Matsuura

Film Review: Treevenge (short film) (2008)

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  SYNOPSIS: After the relentless cruelties & indignities imposed upon them by humans, Christmas trees finally have had enough & strike back on a cold & frosty morning. REVIEW:  A fairly well used concept in horror: take an ordinary object or creature and to turn it into an object to be feared. Horror fans are all probably familiar with stories involving the wreaking of revenge by frogs (FROGS), ants (THEM), spiders (ARACHIPHOBIA), and the like. … Continue reading

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Frightful Japan: The Torn-Mouth Woman (Kuchisake Onna)

kuchisake[1]

You’re walking home at night on a deserted road when a woman in a surgical mask approaches. It’s not such a strange thing, as many people in Japan wear masks when they’re feeling under the weather or trying to prevent pollen-induced allergies. She stops. “Am I pretty?” she asks. She has long, shiny black hair and is wearing a beige coat cinched at the waist. “Yes,” you say. And that is when she removes her … Continue reading

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Frightful Japan: The Devil’s Gate (Kimon)

Oni

Frightful Japan: The Devil’s Gate Oni stand taller and broader across the shoulder than any person you’ll ever meet. They’re heavily muscled and completely naked except for their tiger-skin loincloths and the heavy iron rings encircling their wrists and ankles. If you’re ever unlucky enough to come across an oni, you’ll notice among other things it has either one or two horns growing out of its massive head and its skin is some shade of … Continue reading

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Frightful Japan: Playing Hide and Seek by Yourself (Hitori Kakurenbo)

Hitori Kakurenbo

I fondly remember my teens. I like to think of those years as that precious time when I was old enough not to be frightened by all the creatures lurking under my bed, and yet still young enough that I wasn’t terrified by mortgages, yearly health check ups, and my own teenage son announcing that he wants to be a rock ’n’ roll guitarist when he grows up. Those were the invincible years. And they … Continue reading

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About Thersa Matsuura

I've been living in a small Japanese fishing town for the last twenty years. Here I research, translate and write about Japanese folklore, superstitions, and mythical creatures. A collection of these stories -- A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories -- was published by Counterpoint LLC. Charles de Lint called A Robe "truly a unique collection that suits no easy categorization except that of excellence."