The country of Japan does not usually cross the mind when castles are mentioned. But Japan does have castles and Himeji Castle is the largest castle in Japan. The magnificent structure sits at the top of Himeyama, which is a point 150 feet above sea level. The castle is made up of 83 buildings and referred to as White Heron Castle because of its coloring, which is a brilliant white and the curved roofs resemble a bird in flight. Today, the castle is the most visited castle in Japan and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is also considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Japan with stories of Okiku’s Well, the Old Widow’s Stone and the death of Sakurai Genbei. Join us as we explore the history, legends and hauntings of Himeji Castle. The Moment in Oddity features Pope Gregory IX declaring cats are of Satan and This Month in History features Tolpuddle Martyrs banished to Australia. Our location was suggested by listener Jenni Watt.
At the base of Mount Fuji in Japan lies a forest that is 14 square miles in size and is referred to by some as the Sea of Trees. The forest’s official name is Aokigahara Forest and is known for being very quiet. Aokigahara is notorious though for its reputation as a place people go to die by their own hand. Most people call this wooded area “The Suicide Forest.” There are rumors that demons run the place. And the tales of hauntings are numerous. Diane and Denise share the Japanese culture around suicide and why this place seems to be cursed. Moment in Oddity features sword swallowing and This Day in History deals with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.