How is the weather in your area? In Japan, we are currently experiencing the long rainy season known as “Tsuyu” (梅雨) from June to July.
Tsuyu, The Rainy Season
The rainy season, known as Tsuyu in Japan, occurs from June to July, except for Hokkaido. Tsuyu literally translates to "plum rain," as it aligns with the ripening of plums during this period. This name reflects the ancient practice of associating natural phenomena with the seasons. The rainfall during Tsuyu plays a vital role in the growth and maturation of crops, making it a crucial time for agricultural communities.
Teru Teru Bozu—A Symbol of Hope
During Tsuyu, children in Japan engage in a traditional ritual called Teru Teru Bozu. These white handmade dolls, often made from cloth or paper, are hung in windows as a charm to wish for sunny weather the following day. The name "Teru Teru Bozu" translates to "shine shine monk," and the dolls are believed to have the power to bring good weather.
Crafting a Teru Teru Bozu is a simple yet delightful activity. Using a square piece of cloth or paper, the center is tied round and round to create the head. Tissue paper is commonly used to make these charming dolls. On the day before an outdoor event, particularly if rain is forecasted, children hang the Teru Teru Bozu in the window while singing a familiar chant: "Teru teru bozu teru bozu, let the weather be fine tomorrow!♬" This ritual infuses them with hope and a sense of excitement.
An Age-Old Tradition
The Teru Teru Bozu tradition is believed to have originated in China and was adopted in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). Despite modern advancements, this beloved custom continues to be passed down through generations. Children eagerly create their own Teru Teru Bozu, keeping the tradition alive and embracing its optimistic spirit.
While the rainy season may be specific to Japan, the essence of Teru Teru Bozu can be embraced by anyone, regardless of geographical location. It serves as a beautiful reminder to find joy in simple rituals and maintain a positive outlook. You can engage in a DIY activity with your family, creating your own Teru Teru Bozu and hanging it in a window, or simply carry the spirit of hope and sunshine within you.
As we navigate through life's ups and downs, it's important to cherish traditions that bring joy, hope, and optimism. The Teru Teru Bozu tradition from Japan teaches us the power of a simple act and the impact it can have on our mindset. Let this heartwarming ritual inspire us to cultivate a brighter outlook and to find beauty in the everyday. So, regardless of the weather outside, may we all embrace the spirit of Teru Teru Bozu and let it bring a ray of sunshine into our lives.
Wishing you a week filled with warmth, joy, and a little extra sunshine!