If the weather has been bad for a long period of period, you can sometimes see little dolls hung up on buildings. These dolls are called “Teru Teru Bozu” (照 る 照 る 坊 主) and are made traditionally by children in Japan.
They represent the wish for good weather for a sports day, a trip or an important event. The words “teru teru” describe the “sun shining” and “bozu” is a Buddhist monk. The dolls are usually made of white paper or cloth and attached to a building’s gutter or windows. It is said that the weather for the next day will improve. If the weather got better, the dolls are showered with sake and washed away in the river. If not, their heads are cut off.
How to Make a Teru Teru Bozu
1. You need a round piece of white cloth or paper as big as a hand which is not too stiff or too thick. The best material to use is cotton because it is easy to paint on.
2. Insert a key ring in the middle of your piece of fabric and tie a string or thread through the key ring.
3. Fill the doll’s head with paper tissues, fleece, or old newspapers.
Roll up a ball and place it in the middle of your piece of fabric on the opposite side of your string.
4. Wrap the fabric around the ball and tie the fabric with a thread of wool or a ribbon.
Give the doll a bit more character by tieing a ribbon around its neck.
5. Draw a smiling face on the doll head.
6. Hang the doll to the ceiling or to the window facing the outside.
7. Depending on the weather, reward or punish your Teru Teru Bozu.