Thursday, January 10, 2008

Daruma dolls

Daruma - A (generally) red, rounded doll with no limbs. The doll represents Bodhidharma wrapped in his priests clothes. Bodhidharma was a Buddhist priest from India who went to China in the 6th century and founded Zen Buddhism. A daruma doll is a charm for achievement. They are often sold without the eyes painted in or one eye painted in. A person about to start a difficult task would paint in one eye and then when they achieved their objective they would paint in the other eye. One particular type called is a tumbling daruma doll one that is weighted at the bottom, so that when it is knocked over it swings back upright. The tumbling type are considered good luck because despite being knocked down it will get back up hence success will eventually come. Many of the dolls are purchased at the beginning of the year in hopes of a new year of happiness and prosperity. There are even Daruma fairs held throughout Japan in January, particularly in the Kanto district. Pictured Below is one seen in the Ranma manga.

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