Tune of the Day: Teru teru bozu
A teru teru bōzu is a little traditional hand-made doll which supposedly brings sunshine. Children make teru-teru-bōzu out of tissue paper and a string and hang them from a window to wish for sunny weather.
There is a famous warabe uta, or Japanese nursery rhyme, associated with teru teru bozu. The song, written by Kyoson Asahara and composed by Shinpei Nakayama, was released in 1921. Like many nursery rhymes, this song is rumored to have a darker history than it first appears. It allegedly originated from a story of a monk who promised farmers to stop rain and bring clear weather during a prolonged period of rain which was ruining crops. When the monk failed to bring sunshine, he was executed. Many Japanese folk historians, however, believe this story may have originated from long after the tradition had become widespread, most likely in an attempt to refine the image of the doll. It is more likely that the “bōzu” in the name refers not to an actual Buddhist monk, but to the round, bald monk-like head of the doll, and “teru teru” jokingly refers to the effect of bright sunlight reflecting off a bald head.