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Teru Teru Bozu

A small, ghost-like doll that is traditionally used by Japanese people to prevent rain. The name literally means "shiny shiny Buddist monk" and it was originally designed to somewhat look like one - it very vaguely resembles a bald man. Children traditionally hang these in a window frame when they wanted the next day to have good weather.

They can also can be hung upside down if you want it to rain tomorrow. They date from the Edo period (1603-1868), when they first appeared in urban areas. They are still a fairly common sight in Japan today, especially in the homes of young children. Originally a simple chant of "Fine-weather priest, please let the weather be good tomorrow" has since evolved into a much longer and more elaborate Nursery Rhyme:

Teru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Ashita tenki ni shite o-kure
Itsuka no yume no sora no yō ni
Haretara kin no suzu ageyo

(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-bōzu, teru bōzu
Ashita tenki ni shite o-kure
Watashi no negai wo kiita nara
Amai o-sake wo tanto nomasho

(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-bōzu, teru bōzu
Ashita tenki ni shite o-kure
Sorete mo kumotte naitetara
Sonata no kubi wo chon to kiru zo

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

The Henohenomoheji face is sometimes used on teru teru bozu.


Examples:

Advertising
  • In one of the many wacky Japanese adverts Jackie Chan has appeared in he was dressed as a Teru Teru Bozu, suspended from a skyscraper singing the song.

Anime and Manga
  • In Aphorism the kids hang the dolls upside down to make it rain, since rain prevents the Blight from occuring.
  • In Yotsuba&!, there is one chapter where Yotsuba makes many of these (including one huge one) to prevent rain, so that she can go to the beach the next day.
  • Mimi makes an upside-down one because she wants it to rain. There are also a few other chapters where the characters make Teru Teru Bozu.
  • Plays a scarier-than-usual role in a 20th Century Boys flashback.
  • A girl in Urusei Yatsura is afraid of these dolls, and of Cherry, who vaguely resembles one.
  • In Hidamari Sketch, Miyako suggests making one during the rainy season so that Yuno can finally air out her winter futon and put it away, and then proceeds to make one out of the futon.
    • Another time, she realizes she's just washed the stray cat's face, so she hangs a few.
  • In one episode of Sgt. Frog, Fuyuki makes a line of upside down ones to make it rain on Sports Day. Not only does this not work, the next day's forecast is for a 0% chance of rain.
    • A chapter of the manga had Fuyuki and Natsumi making teru teru bozu dolls to stop a rainstorm. Unbeknownst to them, the Keronians start making their own version of the dolls in order to make it keep raining, since they thrive in wet, humid weather.
  • Takeru and Ika Musume make these during a storm in one episode of Shinryaku! Ika Musume. (It doesn't work.)
    • Ika Musume's are drawn with such horrifying faces that when Takeru wakes up to see one in his bedroom, it causes "a very localized downpour"
    • She draws them with such grotesque faces because she keeps focusing on the fact that they get strung up by the neck after they're finished.
    • She also tries to act as one herself to stop a rainstorm, and when it doesn't work she comes close to going all the way and hanging herself by her tentacles.
  • In Case Closed, Ran and Kazuha make teru teru bozu in an attempt to chase away the rain, but Heiji sabotages their effort by turning them around so they faced inward.
  • In Minami-ke, Kana makes one of these out of her little sister Chiaki so that she'll be able to go to the beach. When it works (rather to everyone's surprise), Chiaki chastises the others for praying to her with "Don't worship me!".
  • In Toradora!, Ryuuji is seen hanging a home-made one out of cloth.
  • In Kinnikuman Nisei, the character known in English as "Dialbolic" is called "Tel Tel Boy" (Teru Teru Boi) in the original Japanese. This foreshadows the fact that his weakness is water and he's defeated when it starts to rain.
  • In Change 123, in the flashback of the morning that Motoko's mother died, the 5-years old Motoko checks out the weather after getting up, and we see her Teru Teru Bozu. Although seemingly unimportant, this scene actually discretely points out to Motoko's superstition, and her superstition will play a major role in the creation of her first Split Personality.
  • One episode of the Imagin Anime had Ryuutaro making a room full of these to ensure good weather for a picnic. When it doesn't look like that will work, he is given a gigantic bear shaped one.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Chiyo says she'll make these for luck for Sports Day, but Osaka tries to predict weather with her shoe, instead, so we don't find out if she followed through. (It was sunny, though.)
    • In the manga, they're more into wanting it to rain on Sports Day for the second year. After a series of convoluted leaps of logic, they figure that hanging Chiyo out the window would have the same effect, so hanging her upside-down by her ankles would logically bring bad weather. They do so. It's still clear the next day.
  • In Fairy Tail, Juvia before her Heel-Face Turn had one on her dress because of her being Blessed with Suck constantly raining around her. In some flashback, her younger self is seen making some more so the rain would go away and the local kids would play with her.
  • "Kanamemo" has the girls at the newspaper delivery office take to making a whole bunch of Teru Teru Bozu to ward off an incoming typhoon. They make the last one out of a large raincoat and rope...which freaks out a drunk passerby who, seeing only its silhouette at night, mistakes it for a person hanging himself. Or rather, the ghost of a person who hung himself.
  • In Tamayura: Hitotose, in the Festival Episode, Fuu, Norie and Maon go to visit Kaoru to check why she wasn't able to meet with them. They find her tying up a rather large Teru Teru Bozu with an (inexplicably) scary face made by Kaoru's sister. Then all four of them decide to make each her own Teru Teru Bozu and, of course, each of them gives it her own face and "hairstyle".
  • Heihachi from Samurai 7 has one dangling from his sword. It often changes expression to reflect his own mood.
  • Nyoron Churuya-san episode 6.
  • Nichijou episode 20.
  • Kill Me Baby, episode 6.

Live-Action TV
  • In a Dorama called With Love, one of the main characters used the screen name of Teru Teru Bozu and those played some sort of important role to her and her lover.

Video Games
  • The Pokémon Castform is based off of a Teru Teru Bozu.
    • Gardevoir may have taken a little bit of inspiration from this one, too.
    • Shuppet as well.
  • Mega Man 7: A minor enemy in Cloud Man's stage is designed after the Teru Teru Bozu, flipping upside down and summoning rain when shot. (If it's already raining, shooting it with the Freeze Cracker causes it to summon snow instead.)
  • One of these is an item in Monster Rancher DS. It doesn't seem to actually affect the weather, but it does reduce your monster's stress in springtime.
  • Boktai has both a right-side up and upside-down Teru Bozu, the first always giving you at least two bars of sunlight while and the second limiting you to one. In the English version they're called the "Mr. Rainnot" and "Tonniar .Rm", respectively.
  • The Stage 3 boss of Parodius.
  • In the onlien flash game Poupee girl, you can purchase teru teru bouzu dolls for your online avatar. They go in sale only when it's rainy season in Japan, though.

Visual Novels

Web Comics
  • Marisa dresses as one for a strip in Mini Mari!. She's excited at first, but quickly discovers how boring it is.

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