Teru Teru Bozu...Teru Teru Bozu...
July 28, 2012 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Need some cuteness in your day? Teru Teru Bozu are small handmade dolls loosely resembling bald monks, which are traditionally made in Japan and hung up, to [allegedly] bring good weather. There's a cute song that goes along with the tradition. Want to make your own?
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Those have always freaked me out. Different cultures, different implications: they look to me like people being hanged in effigy.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:21 AM on July 28, 2012

In the cartoon, it looks like the face is made of Henohenomohe.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 AM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

When my girl was in kindergarten she made 'em. She's almost a teenager now. It's a sweet memory.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:19 AM on July 28, 2012

So that's what this thing was! I meant to ask the owner of this food cart about it, but I was in a hurry and figured someone had just really, really pissed him off.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:18 AM on July 28, 2012

LOL I was in language school in Hokkaido during a record typhoon season, 2 in a row hitting that far north, making it rain for weeks. It was depressing, walking to school and getting totally soggy, then sitting in little desks all day, looking out the window at the gloomy clouds and rain. So one day, as a joke, I stuck a little Teru Teru Bozu on the window. When we came back from break, the teacher saw it and just freaked that his stupid gaijin would know of such a thing. Apparently he was transported back to his youth, and spent the next half hour describing how he made them when he was like 6 years old. Then he made us sing the song over and over until he was satisfied we had learned it properly. I guess Teru Teru Bozu did his job, the rain stopped the next day.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:20 AM on July 28, 2012 [8 favorites]

My Japanese mother taught me the song and how to make these when I was very little and I made them until I was a teen. I tried to resurrect the tradition for my own son when he was about 5 and he shouted, "Halloween Ghosts!" so now our teru teru bozu beckon candy-seeking trick or treaters every October.
posted by jamaro at 10:23 AM on July 28, 2012

My son was scared of these when he was a toddler. I think it was from a children's show that had a talking teruterubouzu.

LOL I was in language school in Hokkaido during a record typhoon season

Was it the 北海道国際交流センター in Hakodate, by any chance? I did a summer there back in 1997.
posted by Tanizaki at 10:26 AM on July 28, 2012

Due to some of the things I have written about it, here on MeFi, it is probably best if I neither confirm nor deny where and when I went to school.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:33 PM on July 28, 2012

I've had this going through my head and been humming it since you posted it. Thanks! ashita tenki ni shite o kure...

I'd like to find more Japanese kid's songs - they make great learning devices for the language. In fact, I think I'll make an AskMe about it.
posted by ctmf at 12:15 PM on July 29, 2012

I remember the first time I heard the full song. Living in Japan for some years, I was already familiar with Teru Teru Bozu, and the main chorus of the song, but was not aware there was a longer version with multiple verses.

So one night, at a karaoke box in Shibuya the night before a friend's wedding, we're all out drinking Asahis and rocking the mic, when someone gets the idea to make sure the ceremony will be a good one. We wad up some napkins and start Teru Bozing away, and someone noticed this song in the book. We put it in, all start singing along, until we get to the line about chopping the heads off if it rains tomorrow.

Everybody's jaws dropped as soon as the realisation hit; that coupled with the next day's unfavourable forecast, we just created and condemned a bunch of ghost spirits to death by decapitation. It put a whole new perspective on the whole thing, and from that point on, I haven't thought of it as "having some cuteness in your day". More like "Welcome, little tissue phantasm. You have 12 hours to defy the meteorologists or you'll be next in line for the guillotine."
posted by Metro Gnome at 12:25 AM on July 30, 2012

"What is this, a cult?"
posted by Tikirific at 5:43 PM on August 5, 2012

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