Episode 83 : Shine Shine Monk

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It is the rainy season after a great summer. Today we will talk about a cute tradition in ancient China since the Yuan dynasty 元代 and in Japan today that people do to pray for a sunny day.

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In the book DiJingJingWuLue 帝京景物略 from the Ming dynasty 明朝, it says, whenever the rainy days last for a while, people would make a woman’s figure. The head is made of white paper and the body part is made of green and red paper. The figure is holding a tiny broom. The figure would be hung up on the edge of the roof outside. They are called SaoQingNiang 扫晴娘. Sao means sweep, qing means sunny and niang means woman.

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In the book GaiYuCongKao 陔余丛 考from the Qing dynasty 清朝,it says it is a tradition in the rainy season to cut a woman figure out of a paper holding a broom to wish for a sunny day.

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QingSaoNiang is hard to see in China today maybe in the countryside however it is popular Japan. Farmers hang it outside of the winder by a string. In Japan, it looks like a ghost doll which is much easy to make out of tissue paper or cotton and string. It is called teru teru bozu in Japanese meaning shine shine monk.

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Mentioned:

帝京景物略 DiJingJingWuLue

陔余丛 考 GaiYuCongKao

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