Sarubobo à Monkey baby

Have you seen this before?

A red and faceless doll in Hida region is called Sarubobo.  Saru means monkey and getting rid of bad things in Japanese.  Bobo means baby.  Therefore, it is a monkey baby.  Why Sarubobo is faceless?  Local people believe that sarubobo reflects the owners’ emotions, i.e. when you feel happy, Sarubobo is happy and vice versa.  How do you feel when you see Sarubobo now?  Sometimes I heard guest said they do not like Sarubobo because of faceless…..

In the old times, Hida people handmade the doll (sarubobo) and passed to the children at home so that the children can stay at home quietly without hanging out especially in the snowy winter.  The original colour is red and nowadays there are many colours e.g. pink for love luck, green for health luck and so on.

I always love buying the sarubobo for my friends as I strongly believe sarubobo will bring them happy family luck, marriage and smooth delivery of baby.  Would you like to make your own sarubobo? In fact, there are also shops in Takayama where you can create your own sarubobo.

Hida-chi Sarubobo Shop
19 Aioicho,Takayama-Shi,Gifu

Hida no Sato

Don’t forget to bring some sarubobo back to your home country when you visit Hida region next time!!


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