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.


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.


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.


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.



帝京景物略 DiJingJingWuLue

陔余丛 考 GaiYuCongKao

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