Traditional Tuesday: Teru Teru Bozu



Surprising to get such a rainy day all of a sudden. If only there were a way to make it sunny again… Well in Japan there is a tradition that just might do the trick. Teru Teru Bozu (照る照る坊主), meaning the “shine-shine monk”. First becoming popular in the edo period, Teru teru bozu are little dolls made of a white cloth hung by a string, looking like little ghosts. Farmers and their families would hang them outside the day before good weather was wanted, or on a rainy day to make the rain stop. If the rain did stop, eyes would be drawn in to make the doll happy, they would be soked in sake, and allowed to float out into the river as thanks for their good work. If you by any chance WANTED rain, such as in times of drought, you would hang them upside down.

The story goes the origin of the dolls corresponds with a dark nursery rhyme telling of a monk who promised a town he could make it rain. When he failed to do so, he was hung. After the fact, nature was saddened by the murder and it began to rain. Whether or not the dolls represent a hung monk is debatable, but kids in Japan still enjoy making a variety of teru teru bozu during rainy days.





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