Teru teru bozu

Teru teru bozu is a traditional Japanese doll made of white cloth or paper. Japanese verb “teru” describes sunshine. “Bozu" has several different meanings. It may mean a Buddhist monk, a bold person or a little boy. These dolls are hung on wire outside house window. People believe that they can ensure good weather. Teru teru bozu dolls first became popular in the cities of Edo (Tokugawa) period (1603-1868). Today they are especially popular among school children who often make them in hope of good weather during their school trips.

Teru teru bozu
Teru teru bozu

There is a famous “warabe uta” (children's song) written in 1921 by Shinpei Nakayama (1887-1952). Many associate it with teru teru bozu dolls. Here is the song in English.

Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
Like the sky in a dream sometime
If it's sunny I'll give you a golden bell

Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
If you make my wish come true
We'll drink lots of sweet rice wine

Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
But if the clouds are crying (it's raining)
Then I shall snip your head off.