Teru Teru

Teru teru bōzu (てるてる坊主 or 照る照る坊主) are traditional, handmade dolls originating from Edo period Japan. They are made from white paper or cloth. Japanese farmers hung these outside their window by a string with the goal of bringing good weather or stopping/preventing rain. They are a very common superstition in Japan and children still make teru teru bōzu and hang them from a window when they wish for a sunny day, often before a school picnic.

an umbrella from Weathering With You has teru teru bouzu hanging from each spoke of the umbrella.

If someone is wishing for rain they can hang the teru teru bōzu upside down. I love the rain so I used to have an upside down teru teru bōzu in my room (more for decoration than anything, but I thought I’d hang it upside down anyway).

Teru (てる or 照る) is a verb that describes sunshine (“to shine”). Bōzu (坊主) is a Buddhist monk (or "bald-headed" in moden slang). So, the name basically means a shining monk. This is because Japanese Buddhist monks played roles as rainmakers in the past.

Traditionally, if the weather does turn out well. holy sake is poured over them and they are washed away in the river. Now, instead of bathing it in sake, you draw a nice smiling face on it as thanks.

Yui Hirasawa from K-ON! making teru teru bouzu

Making a teru teru bōzu is very simple. All you need is a square of white fabric or tissue paper, along with something to stuff the head (extra fabric or paper, cotton balls or stuffing are all great options) and string to tie off the head and hang it up.

Put some head-stuffing the size of a golf ball in the center of your fabric or paper, wrap it up and tie it off just under the head. Hang it by a string and you’re done! Remember not to give it its smiling face until after you get your desired result.

hanging teru teru bouzu credit
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