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How to Order the Weather: A Unique Practice From Japan

Learn How to "Order" Weather in 4 Simple Steps

Have you ever wished you could control the weather? It sounds impossible, doesn't it? But what if I told you that there's a way to 'order' the weather, much like you would order a meal at a restaurant? It's a practice that I grew up with in Japan and it involves a combination of belief, reason, and gratitude.

The Concept Behind 'Ordering' the Weather

In Japan, we would often make a "Teru Teru Bouzu," a paper doll, and pray for good weather, especially during the rainy season (June–July) before field trips or any outdoor events. It's a part of our culture that has been passed down from generation to generation. Teru Teru Bouzu (てるてる坊主) the name literally translates to "shine shine monk", with teru meaning "to shine" or "to be sunny" and bōzu meaning "Buddhist monk". The dolls are often made from tissue paper and hung outside windows or from the eaves of houses.

My son used to order snow days in the winter. Even if there's only a little bit of snow, not even sticking to the ground and no heavy snow forecasted, he insists, "No school tomorrow, because it's snowing!" I usually respond, "I don't think there's enough snow for school to close." But then, we often wake up in the morning to find everything covered in snow and school canceled!

When I visited Japan, I wished for good weather every day. My mom and sister were skeptical at first, but they were amazed by how well it worked. It was winter, and I expected deep snow at my mom's house. However, to my surprise, there was none when I arrived, and the weather was pleasant every day. I had brought a heavy coat and boots, but due to the mild weather, they turned out to be unnecessary. We stayed in Tokyo for a few days, and the weather was so nice. I'm not even kidding, as soon as we left, it started snowing. On the evening news, we saw people stranded, roads congested, and trains canceled. It only rained where we were. My sister was mad at me because she had a company trip and had to play golf in the rain.

How Does It Work?

You might be wondering, is there a secret to this? Do you have to chant a special mantra or perform a specific ritual? The answer is no. The process is simple and based on just a few steps:

  1. Believe: This practice is anchored on the belief that by connecting with nature and the cosmos, we can influence the weather.

  2. Be Reasonable: Your wishes need to be somewhat believable. For example, if you want a snow day, it would already need to be snowing. Or, if a hurricane is forecasted, you might wish for your safety, rather than wishing for the hurricane not to occur.

  3. Make Your Request: The day before, you can ask for good weather by saying, "Please bring me good weather tomorrow". If it's forecasted to rain all day, you can specify the time you want it to stop raining, e.g., "I want to go for a walk between 6-7 pm. Please stop the rain for that time".

  4. Express Gratitude: When your wish comes true, don't forget to thank the elements that you believe helped you.

Who are "they" that helping you? They are the planetary gods and goddesses, nature, the Earth, and the cosmos. When we connect with them, it makes them happy. And when they're happy, they continue to bring us what we wish for.

This practice is a wonderful way to feel connected to the natural world and to recognize the power and beauty of the elements. So next time you wish for a sunny day or a snow-filled morning, why not give 'ordering' the weather a try?

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