Teru teru bōzu

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Teru teru bōzu dolls

A teru teru bōzu (Japanese: てるてる坊主 or 照る照る坊主, literally "shine shine monk") is a small traditional handmade doll made of white paper or cloth that Japanese farmers began hanging outside of their window by a string. In shape and construction they are essentially identical to ghost dolls, such as those made at Halloween. This talisman is supposed to have magical powers to bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy day. Teru is a Japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a bōzu is a Buddhist monk (compare the word bonze), or in modern slang, "bald-headed"; bōzu is also used as a term of endearment for addressing little boys.[1]

Teru teru bōzu became popular during the Edo period among urban dwellers, whose children would make them the day before the good weather was desired and chant, "Fine-weather priest, please let the weather be good tomorrow."[2]

Traditionally, if the weather does turn out well, a libation of holy sake is poured over them, and they are washed away in the river.[3][4][full citation needed] Today, children[who?] make teru teru bōzu out of tissue paper or cotton and string and hang them from a window when they wish for sunny weather, often before a school picnic day. Hanging it upside-down acts as a prayer for rain. They are a very common superstition in Japan.

There is a famous warabe uta associated with teru teru bōzu, written by Kyoson Asahara and composed by Shinpei Nakayama, that was released in 1921.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O-Lex Japanese–English Dictionary, Obunsha, 2008. pp. 1681—2.
  2. ^ Miyata, Noboru (August 1987). "Weather Watching and Emperorship". Current Anthropology. 28 (4): S13–S18. doi:10.1086/203572. ISSN 0011-3204. JSTOR 2743422.
  3. ^ Daijirin
  4. ^ Kōjien
  5. ^ "ゆるキャラグランプリ2020「てるみん・ふ~みん」". ゆるキャラグランプリ2020. Retrieved 2020-09-25.

External links[edit]

Media related to Teru teru bōzu at Wikimedia Commons