And just when you thought Japanese culture couldn’t get any cuter, allow me to introduce the itsy bitsy teru teru bōzu (照る照る坊主). These are traditional Japanese dolls made of tissue paper or cloth and hung in front of the window to prevent rain. Teru (照る) means “shine” as in sunshine, while bōzu (坊主) refers to a Buddhist priest or bonze. Therefore, teru teru bōzu loosely translates to “shine, shine, monk” and alludes to a priest’s magical powers to prevent a rainy day. Ghost-like in appearance, they became popular in the Edo era and were used/are still used by children the day before important events or festivities.
My favourite part of school today was helping my friend the librarian make 20 of these adorable ghosts to hang around the school since June/July (Japan’s rainy season) is approaching. Who cares if they work or not. Be honest, you find them irresistible, too.