Home > Fangirlism, Japanese Culture, otaku, Real Life > EOY 08 – Teru Teru Bozu Cosplay

EOY 08 – Teru Teru Bozu Cosplay

December 13, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

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The End of Year (EOY) cosplay event organised by Shiro Tsubasa Anime Club (STAC) was held at the Singapore Expo on the 13th of December. Though not official(?), EOY 08 was rumored to be the swan’s song of STAC annual cosplay event.

Personally, this piece of news made quite an impact on me, as I have been faithfully attending every single EOY since the start. It has been integrated into my annual schedule and marks a milestone for me as a fan of the whole Japanese entertainment culture. From attending EOY alone (or with reluctant friends who aren’t fans), it has evolved into a group gathering/outing. It has been 6 years. I think. I remember attending EOY during my JC days. Wow. I’m that old. O_O

I’ve never been a serious cosplayer, in term of actually working in a team/crew or cosplaying major characters. Never did any character that was memorable enough to garner attention from the crowds. It was just fun rushing to finish the costume the night before, and trying to keep the costume intact while running around the place checking out merchandise on sale. I do remember painting patterns on a handmade yukata, to achieve the exact look as a character I was cosplaying (Youko from Tactics). And I did Miki from Shugo Chara! for last year’s EOY. Ah… memories.

Though embarrassing to admit, I went through the obligatory punk/lolita /rock wannabe phrase during the early years. And now I get major chills of nostalgia when I chance across the random teens in that genre of outfits.

Well, back to the point, since I reckon that this is the last time I would have the opportunity to cosplay at EOY, I wanted to do something with the pure intention of awesomeness. I exaggerate, but the idea was to come up with a cool cosplay that would deliberately be a photography magnet. After so many years of straying from the limelight, I wanted my time of glory. Sortof. I was always a little bit envious at the cameras flashing at the elaborate costumes or innovative outfits. I wanted attention and to feel the satisfaction of having done at least one kick-ass cosplay before I become too old (the older you get, the less options you get to cosplay) and drop out of the ACG circuit.

Honestly, if I was to cosplay, I was to look the part. And since I totally lack the killer figure that most female anime characters have, many of my cosplay options had to be ditched. The ideal type of cosplay for me is mascot-themed. Running through various ideas with my club mates , the initial inspiration was to do Danbo, from Yotsubato! (still considering to do this for Cosfest 09). But inspiration struck during a late-night MSN chat, and the concept of cosplaying a Teru Teru Bozu was born. I was reading a chapter of Yotsubato! which had Yotsuba making a giant Teru Teru Bozu, and started thinking if it was possible as a cosplay. After our Leek antics during AFA 08, we were fascinated with Anime/Manga cliches and the Teru Teru Bozu is a commonly seen image due to it being part of the Japanese culture, specifically linked to rainy days. It’s also know as a Japanese rain doll or 清天娃娃.

I shamelessly rip wikipedia:

Teru teru bōzu (Japanese: てるてる坊主; “shiny-shiny Buddhist priest”[1]) is a little traditional hand-made doll made of white paper or cloth that Japanese farmers began hanging outside of their window by a string. This amulet is supposed to have magical powers to bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy day. “Teru” is a Japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a “bōzu” is a Buddhist monk (compare the word bonze), or in modern slang, “bald-headed.”

Teru teru bōzu became popular during the Edo period among urban dwellers[2], whose children would make them the day before the good weather was desired and chant “Fine-weather priest, please let the weather be good tomorrow.”[2]

Today, children make teru-teru-bōzu out of tissue paper or cotton and string and hang them from a window to wish for sunny weather, often before a school picnic day. Hanging it upside down – with its head pointing downside – acts like a prayer for rain. They are still a very common sight in Japan.

There is a famous warabe uta, or Japanese nursery rhyme, associated with teru teru bozu:

Japanese:
てるてるぼうず、てるぼうず
明日天気にしておくれ
いつかの夢の空のように
晴れたら金の鈴あげよてるてるぼうず、てるぼうず
明日天気にしておくれ
私の願いを聞いたなら
甘いお酒をたんと飲ましょ

てるてるぼうず、てるぼうず
明日天気にしておくれ
もしも曇って泣いてたら
そなたの首をちょんと切るぞ

Romaji:
Teru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Ashita tenki ni shite o-kure
Itsuka no yume no sora no yō ni
Haretara kin no suzu ageyoTeru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Ashita tenki ni shite o-kure
Watashi no negai wo kiita nara
Amai o-sake wo tanto nomasho

Teru-teru-bōzu, teru bōzu
Ashita tenki ni shite o-kure
Sore de mo kumotte naitetara
Sonata no kubi wo chon to kiru zo

Translation:
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 bellTeru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
If you make my wish come true
We’ll drink lots of sweet rice wine

Teru-teru-bozu, teru bozu
Do make tomorrow a sunny day
But if it’s cloudy and you are crying (i.e. it’s raining)
Then I shall snip your head off

And to hear what it’s like, a youtube video I found:

Well, I definitely hit the jackpot with this cosplay idea. And here are some of the pictures to show off my success. =D (I apologize for the narcissistic commentary… but I am still feeling proud to have pulled off a good cosplay.)

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I guess the hardest part of this cosplay is that I couldn’t really see or hear what was going on around me. And even though I was constantly being photographed, I couldn’t see the reactions on people’s faces much. Still, I found myself grinning to myself as I stood still while all I could see where random flashes of light.
Teru Teru Bozu Cosplay

Most of these pictures were taken by my handler (the guy who leads me around because I can’t really see through the cloth).

Teru Teru Bozu Cosplay

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I was popular with the ladies. =D The best part about doing is sort of mascot-type cosplay is that people cannot resist the urge to take pictures with you. I think I managed to get to take pictures will alot of random cosplayers and non-cosplayers alike.

Teru Teru Bozu Cosplay

And what would a Teru Teru Bozu cosplay be if there was no posing infront of a window? Thanks to my special powers (-lol-), it was a nice and sunny day.

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As I posed in front of the window, it was the perfect photo opportunity for people to catch me in my element.

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As I wandered around the event hall, there was the random pictures taken of me and the merchandise on sale. Cute speech bubbles with various symbols common in anime/manga. =D

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Okay, this not me in the costume, but JJ who was taking over the “job” for a bit. And this Storm Trooper cosplayer was having a bit of fun with him.

Teru Teru Bozu Cosplay

While we took a break from wearing the costume, we hung the head behind our booth. ^^

I’m still sorting through the pictures I have and more that is on my friend’s cameras, once I have them I’ll post them somewhere. In the meantime, enjoy this little clip of the Teru Teru Bozu in action… sortof.

More pictures and a better quality video is available on my facebook profile. =D

If anyone has pictures of my giant teru teru bozu, I would really love to have it! Please send it to me at my gmail acct (wild.abandon@gmail.com).

Anyway, there was a cosplay competition on-going during the event, and on impulse, I joined in the fun. If I was already going all out on a limb to cosplay, might as well enter the competition. -lol- To my surprise, there were not many people who signed up for the individual cosplay section at first, but they started flooding in later. It was pretty funny how many people thought that mascot-type cosplayers are male, and people were surprised when they realised I was competing under the female individual cosplay category. I guess the element of novelty was on my side and I managed to nab a 3rd place in my category. Unfortunately, I was too tied up with picture taking to go on stage to receive the prize. =D But when I went later to collect it, I was greeted by the amused organizers who were impressed by my cosplay for being unique. *basks in self-gratification* The prize didn’t turn out to be much, but it was quite an honor to even receive any title for my humble cosplay. Okay, I admit that there was little competition in this category as there were just a few female individual cosplayers. The winner was totally deserving and amazing though.

BL is in our BloodBesides, teru teru bozu cosplay, I was also wearing my special “Zettai Fangirl” / “BL is in our BLood” t-shirt. In true-blue fujioshi-ness, I was stopped for pictures a few times because of the catchy captions. And it was pretty interesting how when I went around the venue, fangirls would cheer when they chance upon my t-shirt.

I really had a lot of fun this time around. And enjoyed every moment of short-lived fame. So now is time to think of another kick-ass idea and get ready for the next big thing.

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  1. Ink
    April 19, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Wah! So random! I was just looking for pictures of the teru teru bozu, and I found this blog! I think I have a picture of you too from last year’s EOY! So cool! I didn’t dress up for anything, but I was with my friend who dressed up her two kids. 🙂

    • dcal
      April 19, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      -LOL- That’s really cool!! The poor costume has since been recycled and used as cloth to make bags. =]

  2. Ink
    April 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Ahaha. Awesomesauce. XD
    Are you going for this year’s EOY as well? I’ll probably be a generic loli or I dunno, see what I can scrounge up. 🙂

    • dcal
      April 21, 2009 at 12:28 am

      Hmm… I heard that this year’s EOY has been cancelled? As far as I know, the organizers (STAC) decided that EOY08 was the last year they will be holding the event. I don’t know someone new will step in and take over though. =/ Oh well, there are always other festivals to attend. =D Though I think my cosplaying days are over… getting too old for this. =P

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