Story Premise

This Urusei Yatsura involves a lot of jokes, plots points and characters based upon things which are commonly understood in Japanese society. This can cause confusion to UY viewers in other countries who aren't quite so familiar with Japanese culture. This page will explain many of the more prominent cultural references that occur in Urusei Yatsura and hopefully lead to a better understanding of the series. Who knew Urusei Yatsura could be so educational? Note: All the most important topics are in bold.

Mythology & Folklore
Oni
Tengu
Shichi Fukujin & Benten
Yuki-Onna
Gaki
Kintaro
Momotaro
Urashima Taro
The Grateful Crane
Tanuki & Kitsune
Yurei
Kappa
Baku
Amaterasu
Akuma

Superstitions
Tomobiki
Butsumetsu
Teru-teru-bozu
Red string of fate
Sneezing
Unlucky numbers
Bad omens

Holidays and Events
Setsubun
New Year (shogatsu)
Obon
Mochitsuki
Japanese Xmas
Valentine's & White Day
Doll's Festival
Children's Day
Tanabata
Golden Week

Places
Atami
Hakone
Nara

Japanese Living
Sarashi
Happi Coats/Hanten
Yukata
Flu Masks
Kotatsu
Japanese High Schools
Onsen & Sento
Miai
Salary Men
Pachinko
Common Expressions

Food
Donburi
(i.e. beefbowl)
Umeboshi
Taiyaki
Okonomiyaki
Bento
Oden

Retro Pop Culture
Ashita no Joe
Kyojin no Hoshi
Cyborg 009
Uchuu Senkan Yamato
Majinger Z
Gekko Kamen
Ultraman
Momoe Yamaguchi

History, Heritage
and Religion
Kabuki Theatre
Noh Theatre
Kuroko
Hanetsuki
Miko
Jizo
Tale of Genji
Musashi Miyamoto
Zenigata Heiji
Bushido
Seppuku

For more cultural information pertaining to specific episodes of Urusei Yatsura, check out AnimEigo's liner notes available on their web site.

TV volumes 1 - 10
TV volumes 11 - 20
Movies
OVAs


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Home
An Intro to Urusei Yatsura
Cast of Characters
The Comic Book
The Animated Series
Questions and Answers
Frequently Asked QuestionsCultural References
Articles and Reviews
Art Gallery
Music Capsule
Odds and Ends
Links