June and July are Japan’s Tsuyu, or rainy season, with much of the country experiencing cloudy and wet weather for several weeks. Children hoping to play outside (or anyone waiting for some sunshine) often hang teru teru bozu in their windows. Originating several centuries ago, the little dolls are most often now made with cotton balls and tissue paper, and are supposed to make the skies clear and the sun come out. As the Tanabata holiday often comes during the rainy season, it is common to see people combine the two by tying their tanabata wishes to their teru teru bozu.

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