Teru-Teru-Bozu – A Japanese Doll to Ward Off Rain

Teru-teru-bōzu is a doll Japanese people make and hang in the window when they want to wish for nice weather. This tradition is very old.

Photo of a Teru-teru-bozu

Ayako Egawa wrote from Japan about teru-teru-bozu…

“Teru teru bozu” is a doll made of white cloth or tissue. People, especially kids, make it when they wish it will be sunny the next day because they have a field day, school trip or something else. They display it in the window.

I attach photos of Teru teru bozu [above is one].

It is easy to make…

Spread out a white cloth (tissue paper), stuff some tissue in the center of it and bind it with a rubber band.
Draw a face and it is a Teru teru bozu!

I think it is a popular tradition even now.

“Teru” means sunny, “bozu” means a Buddhist priest, but in this case it means a small boy.

Let’s make a Teru teru bozu and ward off rain!

Ayako

Thanks Ayako! I did try making one… and it was easy! Here’s a photo guide to making a teru-teru-bozu…

1. Spread out 2 pieces of tissue paper on a table (use two to make it thicker).

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

2. Scrunch up a ball of tissue paper and put it in the center of the doubled-up piece that’s spread out.

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

3. Wrap the “spread out” piece of tissue paper around the crumpled up ball and put a rubber band around it.

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

4. Attach one long piece of ribbon over and around the rubber band tying it in the back and leaving a long string to hang up the teru teru bozu. Then tie a bow in the front with another smaller piece of ribbon for decoration.

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

5. Draw a face on the upper “ball” part (the head) of the teru-teru-bozu.

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

6. Hang it in the window overnight to ward off rain for the next day.

Photo of How to Make a Teru-teru-bozu

There’s a song that kids sing called teru-teru-bozu.

Here’s a teru-teru-bozu animation…

Enjoy!

Many thanks to Ayako Egawa for teaching us how to make a teru-teru-bozu!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Customs to Ward off Rain, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Folk Songs, Japanese Kids Songs, Languages, Mama Lisa, Teru-teru-bozu. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Teru-Teru-Bozu – A Japanese Doll to Ward Off Rain”

  1. courtney Says:

    Great blog and website! I am always looking for ways to bring world cultures into my son’s life. I will be checking back to see more cool posts! Thanks!

  2. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Ayako wrote:

    Ayako Egawa
    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for adding my comments on your blog.
    I always feel happy for your work!

    Your instructions are very good.
    And I like your Teru teru bozu, especially his eyes.
    They look up the sky for the nice weather.

    Teru teru bozu tradition is very old; from around the middle of Edo period (18century).
    It is originally from Chinese legend “晴娘““掃晴娘”.
    It is different from Japanese Teru teru bozu on the points that she is a girl, is made of paper and has a broom in her hand.

    Recently I saw articles about Teru teru bozu on TV and newspaper.
    It shows this tradition is very popular still now.

    Have a nice weekend!
    Ayako

  3. Aya Says:

    Thanks Lisa. It looks pretty blog.

  4. Ayako Egawa Says:

    Lisa, Hi, here sunny. today back to summer day.

    I guess Mr, Takeshi’s teruteru bozu photo and
    translation is very nice,

    Will you add his pic for this ?

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