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sabato 8 settembre 2012

Teru Teru Bozu てるてる坊主

I haven't written on my blog for a long time. I have read a lot of books, I have been to some interesting places, and I have simply been home. Yet some practical changes in our lives made me restless and full of thoughts, and unable to write.
Now I suddenly feel bursting with currents and gusts of impressions I want to translate into words. Most of them are too personal to be written here. What I want to talk about now is the Teru Teru Bozu.

Every year, the first week of September we have the wonderful Festivaletteratura in my home town in Italy (Mantova). Writers from all over the world come and talk about their books, offer readings and interviews, and each corner of the town offers small stands with books, handicraft products, small exhibitions and workshops for kids. The Kokeshi Cultural Association, also based in Mantova, organized lots of interesting Japan related activities, among which a workshop where small children (aged 4 - 8) could listen to the story of the Teru Teru Bozu and could then make their own.
So, we learned that this little ghost-like doll is supposed to have magical powers and can either stop or invoke the rain. This site gives a lot of interesting information about its origins.

I love old traditions, wherever they come from. I especially like those traditions linking in different ways man and nature, man so limited and nature so immense. And my daughter was amazed by this cute little thing that took shape in her hands. She held it all day and now it's hanging on her bed while she sleeps.

Probably our little ghost doesn't really look like a Japanese one but I will always treasure the memory of my daughter's tiny hands building her Teru Teru Bozu and, hours later, looking for a nice place to hang it for the night!