Traditional limbless papier mâché dolls called Daruma- or Dharuma dolls are very popular Japanese good luck charms that represent perseverance, patience, protection, prosperity, achievement, and good luck in the New Year.
Daruma is said to be a representation of the Zasen posture (sitting posture) of famous Zen monk Bodhidharma, the founder of a Buddhist Zen sect who sacrificed his agility during almost a decade of meditation. (For more details, see the "HISTORY" column at the bottom of this page).
Daruma dolls usually begin with empty white eyes. The first eye is drawn in by someone as they make a wish or set a goal. The second eye is drawn in when that wish is fulfilled or the goal is attained. (For more details, see column "FIVE STEP TO USING A DARUMA DOLL" in this page.)
Traditionelle Pappmaché ohne Gliedmaßen, sogenannte Daruma oder Dharuma, sind sehr beliebte japanische Talisman, die Durchhaltevermögen, Zielstrebigkeit, Wohlstand, Erfolg und Glück symbolisieren.
Daruma soll eine Abbildung des Zasen-Haltung (Sitzhaltung) von berühmten Zen-Mönchs Bodhidharma sein, der Gründer einer buddhistischen Zen-Sekte, der seine Beweglichkeit während fast eines Jahrzehnts der Meditation opferte. (Weitere Einzelheiten finden Sie in der Spalte „GESCHICHTE“ unten auf dieser Seite.)
Anfangs sind die Augen eines Darumas leer. Hat man einen Wunsch, teilt man ihn dem Daruma mit und malt eines der Augen aus. Hat sich der Wunsch erfüllt oder das Ziel erreicht ist, bekommt der Daruma sein zweites Auge. (Weitere Einzelheiten finden Sie in der Spalte „FÜNF SCHRITTE ZUR VERWENDUNG EINER DARUMA-PUPPE“ auf dieser Seite.)
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Daruma’s face is carefully painted with bold strokes by brush for beard and eyebrows. The multi-layered design of the Daruma holds many meanings. Eyebrows are in the form of a crane and a mustache are made to look like a tortoise, both represent longevity.
The Red is the dominant color in most designs, because it’s believed that Bodhidharma wore red robes and because red is a very auspicious color in most Asian cultures signifying energy and good health.
The artisan draws a good fortune message in calligraphic characters on the sides and the belly of the Daruma. So, he is the epitome of Good Luck Symbols and that is maybe why he sold so well to the Edo townspeople.
- STEP 1 -
Eyes of Daruma are blank when you receive at the beginning.
-STEP 2 -
Make a wish or set a specific goal for something like passing your next big exam.
- STEP 3 -
Draw one of Daruma's blank eyes to signify your commitment to achieving your goal.
- STEP 4 -
Place Daruma somewhere visible in your home so that while he focuses on your goal. You'll be reminded constantly to working on making your dreams come true.
- STEP 5 -
Once you've achieved your goal, paint black the eye saying "Daruma-san, thank you!".
"だるま DARUMA" is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional amulet, tumbler doll modeled after 'Bodhidharma', the founder of Zen sect of Buddhism. Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during 5th/6th century AD.
Legend claims that he sat facing a wall in meditation for a period of nine years without moving, which caused his legs to fall off from atrophy. Therefore Daruma doll doesn't have legs.
Nowadays "Daruma" is regarded more as a bringer of good luck. Daruma doll is weighted on the bottom, so it always recovers upright position whenever it is swinging. As such, It is a symbol of revival and "never giving up" to reaching the objective, as it always stands up positively.
Initially, the doll has eyes without pupils. Oversized symmetrical round blank white eyes mean to keep track of goals or big tasks and motivate them to work of the finish. The owner of the doll fills in the left eye of the Daruma, upon setting the goal and makes a wish. And at later stage, add the right eye when and if the wish comes true.
◆ Takasaki – city which produces the most Daruma dolls in Japan
A few of hours northwest of Tokyo, in the city of Takasaki is famous for sight-seeing spots like the 41.8m tall Kannon statue and Lake Haruna, it is also the largest producer of Daruma dolls in Japan. Arriving at Takasaki station, you can already see the prominence of the dolls in this area.
Takasaki Daruma has a long history of 200 years. It first started out on a farm in Toyooka village and it spread to the neighboring Yawata areas. These days more than a hundred local farm families make almost two million of the dolls each year!
少林山 達磨寺 "Shorinzan Darumaji Temple" is the origin of "Takasaki Daruma" doll. The temple is constructed in 1697 and daruma dolls which completed its task for the past year are brought and piled up in the temple. The annual festival is held on 6 and 7 January, attracts more than 400,000 visitors for getting new daruma dolls.