FEATURE: Monster Mondays – Teru Teru Bozu

Welcome back to Monster Mondays, a bi-weekly monthly column featuring youkai, monsters, ghosts, and other elements of Japanese folklore

 

This week’s topic isn’t about an adorable (or horrifying) youkai, it’s to highlight the cute, ghost-like dolls that you’ve surely seen in anime and manga: the Teru Teru Bozu (てるてる坊主). 

 

 

Made of cloth or tissue paper, these dolls are said to ward off rainy days and are hung from windows or eaves.

 

Small children typically create these in hopes that the rain will stop and they can go out and play – a tradition that became popular in the Edo period (1603-1868) but is still wildly prevalent in the present day.

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu 

 

You may have heard the warabe uta (folk song / nursery rhyme) about Teru Teru Bozu:

 

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

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


Translated as:

 

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 sake


Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
but if it’s cloudy and I find you crying (i.e. it’s raining)
Then I shall snip your head off


FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

You can read a much more thorough explanation of Teru Teru Bozu’s history on Zack Davisson’s Hyakumonogatari site.

 

Appearances in anime

 

These guys show up all over the place in a variety of anime and manga, including for comedic value (such as a character dressing up like a Teru Teru Bozu). Below is a small sampling of Teru Teru Bozu appearances, but if you can think of one that’s missing, share your findings in the comments!

 

K-ON

The girls create Teru Teru Bozu dolls in K-ON!! S2, episode 15. 

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

Non Non Biyori Repeat

In episode 4 of Non Non Biyori RepeatRenge decides to make a Teru Teru Bozu, but because the small one just isn’t impressive enough, she makes a mask and masquerades as one herself (much to Komari’s terror)…

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

Fairy Tail

In Fairy Tail, Juvia used to make Teru Teru Bozu dolls in her childhood, and wears them adorned on her clothing. 

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu 

Squid Girl

In Squid Girl episode 10 there’s a whole host of terrifying Teru Teru Bozus @_@

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

Detective Conan

Episode 325 of Detective Conan has a Teru Teru Bozu.


FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu


Yama no Susume

Yama no Susume S2 includes a Teru Teru Bozu sighting…


FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu


You and Me

Teru Teru Bozu appear in You and Me, as well.

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

Doraemon

Even Doraemon has a Teru Teru Bozu!

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

Natsuiro Kiseki

Natsuiro Kiseki is yet another (somewhat obscure) series that features Teru Teru Bozu.

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

Hana Kappa

Though perhaps the ultimate in obscure anime, the family friendly, folklore-laden Hana Kappa has an actual Teru Teru Bozu as a character.

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu

 

amazarashi: Christmas

This bizarre music video has a huge, robotic Teru Teru Bozu in it…

 

FEATURE: Monster Mondays - Teru Teru Bozu 

 

Have you spotted a Teru Teru Bozu in another anime or manga not listed above? Share your findings in the comments!

 

Thanks for tuning in this week, and before we leave, a quick announcement. As of this week Monster Mondays will move to once a month, rather than bi-weekly, as I’ve been quite busy with work and Anime-Planet development and haven’t had as much time as I’d like for writing. Hopefully in the future things will settle down and we can once again move to a bi-weekly format. 

 

See you next time! 

 

——-

Kim Cameron is the CEO and founder of Anime-Planet, Crunchyroll’s partner and the world’s first anime and manga recommendation database site, and author of the “Anime-Planet Recommends…” and “Monster Mondays” columns on Crunchyroll. Follow her on Twitter at @AnimePlanet or on Facebook.