culture Japan


Daruma doll
a priest, Daruma

After I searched snow man in the previous post, I wondered what really daruma is, so I introduce daruma history.  Present day of Daruma is known as doll to which people pray for help in achieving a goal with painting one eye onto the face, and after the dream realized, they paint the other eye.

Daruma is originally modeled after Dharma(達磨) who is the priest came from India and found Zen of Buddhism in the 6th century.  He has legend that he meditated for 9 years toward a wall and lost his legs and arms.  This is why daruma doll has no legs and arms.  In Japan, it has been a symbol of patience and remaining unfazed like Dharma meditated for many years.  Speaking about Daruma dall, the doll always gets up to standing position by itself to represent the patience and not to give up even if people knock it down.  A Proverb says, “Fall down seven times, gets up eight”.  It is the lesson from Dharma, and this proverb teaches us the spirits of Zen.  Not only to pray to Daruma for success, people need to be patient and make efforts by ourselves for many years.