Rainy Day Dolls

I was shopping and I saw this basket of……  Do you know what they are?

If you don’t know, can you guess?

Look at the sign above the basket. It is in the shape of an umbrella. It says:

雨の日を楽しく

Ame no hi o tanoshiku.

Enjoy rainy days.

(Below that, it says “Go ahead and feel free to take one.)

Those dolls are part of traditional Japanese culture. They are called Teru Teru Bozu.

When it looks like rain, people (often children) make these dolls and hang them up. This is to hopefully keep the rain away.

If an outing is planned for the following day, for example, a child might make them in hopes that the outing won’t be cancelled.

Currently, it is June, so that is considered the rainy season in Japan. It doesn’t rain constantly, but it rains quite a bit. In July, the rainy season is said to end and the days get hotter and sunnier.

So in Japan, the symbols of June are often “rain” or “hydrangeas” or “teru teru bozu” and so on.


When I wrote my manuscript about Fukushima, I wrote the basic story first. Then I divided it into a trilogy and added more.

In the the second (as yet unpublished) book in the trilogy, I write about the custom of “teru teru bozu.”

“If you make the teru teru bozu and hang them up, it’ll stop for sure,” said Baba Flap. “It always works. It may take a day or two or three, sometimes even four or five, but it eventually works.”

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