Japanese sunshine monks ward off bad weather

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Japanese sunshine monks ward off bad weather

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Have you ever had a chance to spot cute small white ghost-like dolls hanging from the eaves or on the windows of homes around your neighborhood in Japan?

These ghostly figures aren’t Halloween decorations. They are “teruteru bozu” (literally, sunshine monks), small traditional handmade dolls made of white paper or cloth.

Often children (and even some adults) make these little “teruteru bozu,” or sunshine monks, to ward off bad weather for the next day when a fieldtrip or other outdoor event is planned.

Hanging them on the eaves, according to local lore, wards off rain and attracts good weather. If you actually want it to rain the next day, lore has it that you should hang the doll upside down.

They are a common sight in Japan on rainy days.

You can make a teruteru bozu very easily. Why not make your own?

2 pieces of tissue paper, and some strings


  1. Crumple one tissue paper into a ball.
  2. Place crumpled tissue paper in the center of the other tissue paper.
  3. Wrap the second tissue around the ball.
  4. Tighten the tissue around the ball by twisting it to form the head.
  5. Tie a string and hang. If you like, you can draw a face on your teruteru bozu.

Try it and see how it works during this rainy season. 

Have a ghost of a good day!

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web