Sheet Music: Teru teru bozu

TitleTeru teru bozu
ComposerShinpei Nakayama (1887–1952)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyA minor
Time signature4/4
Tempo120 BPM
Performance time0:25
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (43 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (200 kB)
Date added2010-06-09
Last updated2010-06-09
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.3 (below average)
Nursery rhymes


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Wednesday 9 June 2010

Tune of the Day: Teru teru bozu

Traditional Japanese song

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.