Tag Archives: japanese folklore

Teru Teru Bozu~

Teru Teru Bozu~
Hi there! :hionigiri:
Is it raining too where you live? We’ve been having a lot of rainy days and the temperature has sunken again. :sigh:
Fortunately I don’t care too much about it because I’m still way too pale to walk around in cute summer dresses and such. Well actually I already did and I guess I have to keep on doing so in order to at least get a tiny little bit of tan. But lying on the grass in a swin suit is such so much more comfortable than walking around in the city or to school and trying to get some sun. I can’t wait until it’s warm enoug to go swimming! :bling:
To keep the rain away and make the sun shine I made some Teru Teru Bozu.
“Teru” is a Japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a “bōzu” is a Buddhist monk.

In Japan people, especially children, make them with any leftover cloth they can find in their houshold and hang them outside the windwow to wish for sunny weather on the next day. Children often do them before a school trip but a farmer would probably rather wish for it because of his crops. You can turn the doll upside down if you wish for rain instead.

Traditionally, if the weather turned out well, they would draw a happy face, give it a golden bell and poure some sweet sake over it. But if the weather turned out bad, the dolls would get a sad face or even loose their heads. Some sources say that you’re supposed to draw one eyes first (as with the Daruma) and the second, after you’re wish has been granted.

There’s a Warabe Uta 童歌, a Japanese nursery rhyme about the Teru Teru Bozu that goes like this~ :swirlheart:



Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
Like the sky in a dream sometime
If it’s sunny I’ll give you a golden bell

Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
If you make my wish come true
We’ll drink lots of sweet sake

Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
but if it’s cloudy and I find you crying
Then I shall snip your head off

Like many nursery rhymes, this song is rumored to have a darker history than it first appears. It originated from a story of a monk who promised farmers that he would stop the rain that was ruining the crops and bring clear weather. As the monk failed to bring sunshine, he was executed. source

They’re very easy to make and a cute decoration for the house and maybe if you wish for it really hard they will even grant your wish so why not give it a try? Use any piece of cloth you have, put it over an other balled up piece of cloth or cotton and fix it with an elastic band. Draw on cute faces and hang them outside your window! :twinkles:
Like everything magic, it will succeed if you believe in it.


Tsukumogami or~ The repentant Artifacts

Tsukumogami or~ The repentant Artifacts

I’m a bit late with this month’s Yōkai but here it is.
Tsukumogami (付喪神) are artifact spirits.There are many types of tsukumogami, as in folk belief virtually any object has the potential to attain consciousness. They are usually depicted as having human, animal or monstrous limbs growing from object bodies, or else as human bodies with objects as their heads.
In Japan it is said, that houshold items and artifacts become alive, once they reach one hundred years of age. At every ending of a year in December, the event called Sweeping soot, Susuharai (煤払い, comparable to sping-cleaning) is held in which people thoughly clean their houses and old tools are thrown away on an alley. Getting rid of these old houshold items should prevent them from bringing bad luck and mishaps to your home.


Legend has it that during the Kenpō era (964–968), there was a rebellion of such old household items. The story goes that, having been tossed out into the street by noble families in Kyoto, a group of angry household tools got together to formulate a plan to punish the humans who had discarded them after so many years of loyal service.

Household items gathering and plotting revenge

Some of the most known Tsukumogami include:

Bakezori: A discarded sandal which scampers through the house muttering to itself
Biwabokuboku: An enchanted Biwa lute that can only be played by certain people
Boroboroton: A ratty old bedding sheet, which presses down upon the sleeper and suffocates them
Burabura: A ripped, ragged lamp which floats in the air spewing fire
Kameosa: A bottle of Sake which, having received a good life from its many owners, is benevolent to humans, providing an unlimited amount of whatever fluid is put in
Karakasa: A battered umbrella with a hairy leg for a pole, a long tongue and a cyclopean eye
Kosode no Te: A child’s Kimono, handed down for years but often the first thing to be pawned in hardship, it channels the will of those who used to wear it
Kotofurunushi: Another enchanted instrument, a doglike creature born from a Koto (slide-guitar)
Mokumokuren: A battered screen door in abandoned houses, which glares at those who sleep behind it with eyes in its holes.
Setotaisho: Soldiers made of cutlery which attack Kitchen staff. Mostly harmless, and prone to dashing itself apart when it charges, only to piece it together and start again.

To read about the legend of the Tsukumogami Emaki, read on!
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The Insatiableness of the Futakuchi Onna

The Insatiableness of the Futakuchi Onna
It’s time for the next Japanese monster. Today I’m going to introduce the Futakuchi onna, a woman with two mouths – a normal one located on her face and second one on the back of the head beneath the hair. There, the woman’s skull can split apart and form lips, teeth and a tongue, creating a monstrous second mouth. Futakuchi onna (二口女) means two-mouthed woman and like the Kappa and the Bakeneko it’s a Japanese Yōkai (妖怪)- an otherworldly and weird appearance.

The appearance of a second mouth is most often linked to how little a woman eats. If a woman becomes the wife of a miser and rarely gets to eat, a second mouth will form on the back of her head, demanding food. If the mouth is not fed, the woman’s hair begins to move like a pair of serpents, allowing the mouth to help itself to the woman’s meals.
In Japanese mythology and folklore, the Futakuchi onna belongs to the same class as the Rokurokubi (women that have the ability to stretch their necks to great lengths) and the Kuchisake onna (Slit-Mouth Woman), women afflicted with a curse or supernatural disease that transforms them into yōkai. The supernatural nature of the women is usually concealed until the last minute, when the true self is revealed.

The most famous story of a futakuchi-onna goes something like this:
In a small village there lived a stingy miser who, because he could not bear the expense of paying for food for a wife, lived entirely by himself. One day he met a beautiful woman who did not eat anything, whom he immediately took for his wife. Because she never ate a thing, and was still a hard worker, the old miser was extraordinarily thrilled with her, but on the other hand he began to wonder why his stores of rice were steadily decreasing. One day the man pretended to leave for work, but instead stayed behind to spy on his wife. To his horror, he saw his wife’s hair part on the back of her head, her skull split wide revealing a gaping mouth. She unbound her hair, which reached out like tentacles to grasp the rice and shovel it into the hungry mouth. source

There are different stories about what causes a woman to become a Futakuchi onna. Sometimes it’s a woman who lets her stepchild die of starvation while keeping her own offspring well fed. The spirit of the neglected child then, lodges itself in its stepmother’s body to take revenge. Other stories tell that the extra mouth is formed when the stepmother gets hit in the head by her husband’s axe while he is chopping wood. The wound never really heals and becomes a monstrous, devouring mouth.
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