Monday, July 09, 2007

Shiny Shiny Monk

Teru Teru Bozu are traditional handmade dolls made of tissue paper or cloth.They are said to have magical powers to bring good weather and stop rainy days.They appear hanging outside windows during the rainy season.
Teru is a Japanese verb for sunshine while bozu is Japanese for monk literally then shiny shiny monk.
Today children make them to wish for sunny weather before a special event,say a sports festival or school outing.
Apparently to ward off the rain you must hang them head up.Hanging them upside down is said to have the opposite effect though some of my students doubted this.They were also unsure as to the fate of those dolls that failed to prevent rain.
However should they be successful,one tradition holds that you paint a face on the doll,pour some sake over its head and throw it into a river having accomplished its mission.

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