Teru Teru Bozu - The Bald Japanese Doll

Have you ever seen a white cloth doll looking like a ghost hanging in the homes and some places in Japan? This doll is called Teru Teru Bozu and in this article we will see some curiosities about this bald doll, its song and its origin.

This doll made of cloth is hung on the edge of houses with the hope that the weather will be good the next day.

Meaning of Teru Teru Bozu

In Japan, children are taught from an early age about the wonderful powers of the Teru Teru Bozu [てるてるぼうず] literally means something like shiny bald head (reference to monks).

Easily constructed from two squares of fabric or cloth, the doll is made in such a way that it represents the bald head of a monk. It can also be called teruteru houshi, terere bozu, hiyori bouzo depending on the region.

It is built while the weather is good, which makes your head dry and shiny (as it would not wet). It is usually hung in the window wishing the rain stop and that time remains good.

Teru teru bozu - the Japanese bald doll

Origin of the Teru Teru Bozu

While the tradition is well-practiced and well-known, many Japanese remain uncertain about the doll's origins. It seems that this custom arose in the middle of the Edo Period due to the similarities with origami dolls and names mentioned in the literature.

The origins of the “talisman” Teru Teru Bozu remain vague. Some say that the obscure lyrics at the end of the song refer to a "good weather", which was able to bring good time with an enchantment.

However, after promising good time to a feudal gentleman, the sun did not appear as promised and the monk's head was cut as punishment. It is said that the head of the monk was wrapped in a cloth and hanging out to stop the rain and bring the sun.

The least gruesome story suggests that the "talisman" represents a yokai (Spirit of the Mountains) Called Hiyoribo, which brings good time and cannot be seen on rainy days. "

In China, there is a paper doll cut with a sword in hand, a squirrel girl, and the resemblance between her and Teruterubouzu has already been pointed out in Sakakibara Takasu during the Edo period.

Teru teru bozu - the bald doll

Appearances in Anime

Teru Teru Bozu has already appeared as a reference in several anime, we separate some scenes, see if you recognize each anime? I remember well his appearance in the classic anime of Detective Conan.


The article is still halfway through, but we recommend also reading:

Song Teru Teru Bozu

There is a classic song that talks a little about this doll. Below we will see the lyrics of the song teru teru bozu in Japanese, romanized, its translation and some videos of the song. The music is from the year 1921 written by Kagamimura Asahara and composed by Shinpei Nakayama.

Song Lyrics Teru Teru Bozu in Japanese




Romanized Lyrics of the Song Teru Teru Bozu

Teru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Please give me the translation in English.
Itsuka no yume no sora no yō ni -> Like the sky of a dream someday
Harere Kin in Suzu Ageyo

Teru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Please give me the translation in English.
Watashi no negai wo kiita nara
Amai o-sake wo tanto nomasho

Teru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Please give me the translation in English.
Sorete mo kumotte naitetara
Sonata no kubi wo chon to kiru zo

Translation of the song Teru Teru Bozu

Teru teru bozu, teru bozu.
Make tomorrow a sunny day.
Like the sky in a dream I had.
If I am sunny I will give you a golden bell.

Teru teru bozu, teru bozu.
Make tomorrow a sunny day.
If my dream come true.
We will drink a lot of sweet wine made from rice.

Teru teru bozu, teru bozu.
Make tomorrow a sunny day.
But if it rains you will be crying.
Then I'll cut off your head with the scissors.

Videos of the song Teru Teru Bozu

Research sources: Japanese Wikipedia

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