Thersa Matsuura was born and raised in the USA but spent the past 25 years -- more than half her life -- living in a small Japanese fishing village with her husband and son.
Thersa -- pronounced "Teresa" -- was one of my Clarion West writing students in 2015 (previously) and is the author of a pair of fabulous and odd short story collections: The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (2017) and A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories (2009), both filled with tales that go deep into the myths, legends and superstitions of Japan, looking for the kinds of stuff that inspired the likes of Miyazaki (going back to the same source, rather than offering up Miyazaki's thrice-brewed tea).
Thersa's research focuses on Japanese tales that have never been translated to English, often because they are so far removed from western contexts that they are profoundly odd and sometimes difficult to explain. In her podcast, "Uncanny Japan," Thersa dons a set of binaural microphones, finds an audibly interesting place in her fishing village to sit, and, once a month, records a 10-15 minute podcast explaining one of these oddities in engaging and wonderful fashion.
I listened to the whole run of the podcast today and was really taken by it. Thersa has taught herself to edit audio, but is running a Patreon where she's raising money to hire professional audio production talent. The Patreon's premiums are pretty great, too: for $5/month, she'll tell you a monthly bedtime story: "a short, Japanese folktale (a retelling or translation by me) that I'll read in English and occasionally Japanese and English. Ii yume wo..."
Uncanny Japan [Thersa Matsuura]
Tokyo is a sound-saturated city: bustling traffic, train station announcements, people everywhere, the barrage of loud adverts, drunk salarymen singing in the Ginza streets at night, and even the loud caws of the Tokyo’s infamous large crows. Then there’s the seemingly ubiquitous background music in shopping centers, department stores, offices, and super markets.
Even though I’m at Burning Man, I’ve snuck out an extra scheduled podcast episode (MP3): Barlow’s Legacy is my contribution to the Duke Law and Tech Review’s special edition, THE PAST AND FUTURE OF THE INTERNET: Symposium for John Perry Barlow:
I just published the 300th installment of my podcast, which has been going since 2006 (!); I present a reading of my EFF Deeplinks essay Adversarial Interoperability: Reviving an Elegant Weapon From a More Civilized Age to Slay Today's Monopolies, where I introduce the idea of "Adversarial Interoperability," which allows users and toolsmiths to push […]
Life isn’t getting any less hectic, and pressure cookers are a quick, healthy solution for a growing number of kitchens. But if you thought your Instant Pot was versatile, there’s a major upgrade on the market: The Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. If you’ve somehow never used a pressure cooker before, try […]
When it comes to data analytics or deep learning, there’s one language behind the apps and algorithms that power the biggest companies of today: Python. The best part about this tool is that as versatile as it is, it’s actually fairly easy to learn. But mastery? For that, you need more than just a beginners’ […]
Your smartphone’s GPS is a modern necessity for some trips, but how do you use it safely? It’s been a problem ever since phones went mobile. A certain phone mount even shelled out the money for a commercial during the Big Game, so clearly there’s a market for the solution. Turns out there are a […]