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HANZAI: True Crime Stories from Japan

Mike Cash

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Due to the nature of my work I am a rather heavy consumer of podcasts, listening to quite a few in the True Crime genre. Having for many years done quite a lot of reading of Japanese books dealing with crime and all aspects of the criminal justice system in Japan, and having noticed that there was only one true crime podcast dealing exclusively with crime in Japan, I thought I would have a go at creating one myself.

Anyone who is interested enough or bored enough is cordially invited to give it a listen and subscribe if you find it worth your time. There are currently two regular episodes available, plus an experimental current news roundup.

Apple Podcast:

Apple Podcats 内のHanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan「Hanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan」

Stitcher:

Hanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan | Listen via Stitcher Radio On Demand

SoundCloud:

Hanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan | Free Listening on SoundCloud

RSS:

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:402987024/sounds.rss

Twitter:

@hanzaipodcast
 

KyushuWoozy

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I tuned in but see first episode is 15 minutes long so only listened to a bit. I'll have to save it for my next bath. So far so good though :emoji_thumbsup:
 

WonkoTheSane

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Is there a Japanese version? I only found an English one. I'm enjoying it, though.
 

Mike Cash

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Is there a Japanese version?
My Japanese isn't that good.

I only found an English one. I'm enjoying it, though.
Thanks very much. That's very encouraging.

Is the audio quality acceptable? Levels okay? I'm using a crap microphone in a poor recording environment but I'm trying to have it be as listenable as possible under the circumstances. I know in the past I've found podcasts whose content seemed fine but either the levels were so low it was practically inaudible or the person had such poor microphone technique that the levels were blown out and it was impossible to listen to through speakers (but tolerable through earbuds). I'm trying to check things myself but it would be valuable to learn how it is coming through for other people on different equipment.
 

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Subscribed! Listening to it while typing this message and enjoying it a lot.
 

WonkoTheSane

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My Japanese isn't that good.
I doubt that.

Thanks very much. That's very encouraging.

Is the audio quality acceptable? Levels okay? I'm using a crap microphone in a poor recording environment but I'm trying to have it be as listenable as possible under the circumstances. I know in the past I've found podcasts whose content seemed fine but either the levels were so low it was practically inaudible or the person had such poor microphone technique that the levels were blown out and it was impossible to listen to through speakers (but tolerable through earbuds). I'm trying to check things myself but it would be valuable to learn how it is coming through for other people on different equipment.
I listened to the first one on my phone speaker and it sounded fine to me. I could only make the stitcher one work, though probably because I don't know how podcast platforms work. Now I'm listening to the episode about the Korean trolley driver on my computer and it's clear.
 

Mike Cash

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Thanks. I listened to the trolley episode and it sounded so bad I was thinking I need to redo it.
 

nice gaijin

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Subscribed! I was easily able to find it through the Podcast Republic android app; I listen to a lot of NPR casts. The trolley episode does have some audio quality issues but it's not too bad... I'd let it be and keep moving forward rather than trying to perfect what you've already released.

Good pacing, the music is nice and unobtrusive, and I like the poetic delivery that matches well to your southern lilt.

Mike or anyone, do you have any suggestions for other good podcasts, Japan-related or otherwise?
 
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Mike Cash

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Good pacing, the music is nice and unobtrusive, and I like the poetic delivery that matches well to your southern lilt.
That's very nice of you to say. You have no idea how much I am toning down my natural Tennessee speech. I'd love to do it in my regular speaking manner but I would like it to be intelligible outside the South.

do you have any suggestions for other good podcasts, Japan-related or otherwise?
Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase (I hate her speech habits and still love the show)

Breakdown

Car Talk (redux of the old NPR show)

Casefile (Australian, very well produced and very popular)

Dirty John (short series)

The Doug Stanhope Podcast (an acquired taste, start at the first episode and muscle through)

Ear Hustle (produced inside San Quentin Prison, very good)

Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast (celebrity guests I've never heard of, but still interesting)

The Mortified Podcast (ranges from wistful to pee-your-pants funny)

Most Notorious!

The New York City Crime Report (Morphs as time passes, start at first episode and go through)

Once Upon a Crime (popular, well-written and presented)

Penn's Sunday School (Penn Jillette on every topic under the sun)

The Serial Killer Podcast (Norwegian host, sounds like Dracula)

They Walk Among Us (sound sometimes spotty)

True Crime Fan Club (pretty popular)

True Crime Historian (my very favorite, reads contemporary news accounts, no editing or editorializing)

UK True Crime Podcast (pleasant guy in his garden shed, nicely done)

New episode of my show up, a short news edition.

Hanzai News for March 1, 2018 by Hanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan | Free Listening on SoundCloud
 

WonkoTheSane

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That's very nice of you to say. You have no idea how much I am toning down my natural Tennessee speech. I'd love to do it in my regular speaking manner but I would like it to be intelligible outside the South.
I'd prefer it that way, I think a southern drawl lends itself to radio. Think Mark Twain spoken aloud.

I'm confused by the clicking on this one, is it a typewriter sound? Ah yes, I hear now, it's a typewriter. I like the music from before better. More atmospheric. Or possibly a teletype sound.

Who would have thunk giving foreigners, often young and as yet not entirely in possession of common sense, access to go karts to drive on the streets of Tokyo, a city where one probably drives on the opposite side of the road from which they are accustomed, while wearing costumes of fantastical characters from video games where one virtually drives in ridiculously unsafe ways might lead to problems... Color me stunned.
 

Mike Cash

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I'd prefer it that way, I think a southern drawl lends itself to radio. Think Mark Twain spoken aloud.
I'd prefer it that way myself. But considering the number one criticism of the number one show in the genre (and reason for people opting out) is an inability to understand the host's thick Aussie accent, I'm going for intelligibility. There have been listeners in/from Japan, America, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Australia, India, and Turkey so far.

I'm confused by the clicking on this one, is it a typewriter sound? Ah yes, I hear now, it's a typewriter. I like the music from before better. More atmospheric. Or possibly a teletype sound.
I thought about a teletype. I'm thinking I might try some of the old Japanese music I listen to (public domain level old) as BGM instead of the royalty free / CC stuff I have used so far.

Who would have thunk giving foreigners, often young and as yet not entirely in possession of common sense, access to go karts to drive on the streets of Tokyo, a city where one probably drives on the opposite side of the road from which they are accustomed, while wearing costumes of fantastical characters from video games where one virtually drives in ridiculously unsafe ways might lead to problems... Color me stunned.
I have to share the road with those ****** idjits. They drive around areas with very heavy truck traffic and it's only a matter of time before somebody gets killed on one of those damned things. I think the Tokyo cops are laying the groundwork to get them regulated out of business before the Olympics.
 

WonkoTheSane

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Episode 4 is up.

It was recorded with a proper microphone and I am hopeful the audio quality is improved over previous efforts.

Episode 4 Milk And Sushi Give Them The Runs by Hanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan | Free Listening on SoundCloud
I like the music better now, and the sound effect at the beginning to add suspense and drama was also good. I like the older stories, though I'd like to hear short synopses of current news as well. Maybe have a few breaks during the story to do current news would be nice.
 

nice gaijin

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Sounding better, but you might want to consider using a pop filter of some kind to cut down on the plosives, that's probably the only standout sound issue and it's easily addressed with a couple layers of ruined stockings :)

The stories are great, by the way. I noticed how much more comfortable stories feel with a culprit and their narrative, as opposed to the mystery ones that end unsolved and don't get closure. Keep up the good work!
 

Mike Cash

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I like the music better now, and the sound effect at the beginning to add suspense and drama was also good. I like the older stories, though I'd like to hear short synopses of current news as well. Maybe have a few breaks during the story to do current news would be nice.
I agree that would be a nice way to do it. But there are a few considerations that make me leery of mixing current news in:

1. The historical cases are meant to be "evergreen" material, while with current stories "if it ain't new, it ain't news".

2. People with an interest in Japan but not so much in true crime stories can get the current stuff, clearly labeled and dated, without having to dig for it.

3. Many listeners may not be used to hearing Japanese names or place names and may have enough trouble keeping straight the ones that appear in the main story. I don't want to overload them with extra unrelated proper nouns that may lead to confusion, frustration, and tuning out. (I sometimes get lost in podcasts when there are too many characters even with English names).

4. While I don't search specifically for light-hearted or funny crime news, I do include it when it is available to me. Some true crime listeners have poor reactions to what they see as misplaced humor, finding it disrespectful to the victims in the story. I can see their point.

Sounding better, but you might want to consider using a pop filter of some kind to cut down on the plosives, that's probably the only standout sound issue and it's easily addressed with a couple layers of ruined stockings 🙂:
I spent some time yesterday experimenting with the new microphone (Samson Go Mic) in order to try to find the best placement for minimizing plosives. I hope to do better on my next recording.

Thanks for the stocking idea. I think I may order some cheap standard sized sponge microphone wind screens to place over the microphone. It is so small they should cover the whole thing.

The stories are great, by the way. I noticed how much more comfortable stories feel with a culprit and their narrative, as opposed to the mystery ones that end unsolved and don't get closure. Keep up the good work!
Thanks, I also prefer a neatly wrapped-up story. But there are many true crime buffs who like the unsolved cases, so I think I would do well to keep them in the mix.

Thanks to both of you for your valuable feedback. It really does help a lot.
 

KyushuWoozy

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I just listened to the one about the murder in the nursing home. I enjoyed it and didn't have any problem with sound quality.

The only problem was we never found out whodunnit. Are there any where the murder is solved?

PS: I do understand its a bit much to ask you to solve them personally
 

Mike Cash

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I just listened to the one about the murder in the nursing home. I enjoyed it and didn't have any problem with sound quality.

The only problem was we never found out whodunnit. Are there any where the murder is solved?

PS: I do understand its a bit much to ask you to solve them personally
Yes, next episode after that one ends with the culprit being caught. #3 is unsolved. #4 solved.
 

nice gaijin

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The new one sounds good! Both in audio quality and the range of content. Really runs the gamut from hilariously mild to pretty horrific stuff!
 

Mike Cash

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The new one sounds good! Both in audio quality and the range of content. Really runs the gamut from hilariously mild to pretty horrific stuff!
Thanks very much. By the time I got through with it I started to marvel at the propensity of 16 year old Japanese high school girls for showing up in news stories. I lost count how many there were.
 

Mike Cash

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You couldn't make it up.

Do we know what they were doing sitting around a kotatsu with a bullhorn at an intersection?
I have no idea. Some things in life, I find more interesting not to know the answers to.
 
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