Lucky Charm Series – Daruma Dolls

The first time we saw Daruma was at a ramen place in the US. That place is called Daruma Ramen and offers quite tasty ramen dishes. What is Daruma? The doll on the table?

After some research back home, we finally figured out the meaning of Daruma doll. The Daruma doll (達磨), also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. Bodhidharma lived during the 5th/6th century AD. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an (Zen) to China. Legend claims that he sat facing a wall in meditation for nine years without moving, which caused his legs and arms to fall off from atrophy. It was also said that after falling asleep during his nine-year meditation he became angry with himself and cut off his eyelids to avoid ever falling asleep again.

The Daruma dolls, typically are red and depicting Dharma as a bearded man. The color and design can vary depending on region and artist. The doll looks like a toy but is more regarded as a guardian of good luck to the Japanese. The dolls as Bodhidharma, represent perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. Many Buddhist temples commercialize the dolls for goal setting encouragement and good luck.

When purchased, the dolls' eyes are both blank white. A user will then select a goal or wish and paint in one of the two eyes. Once the goal is achieved, the second eye then will be filled in. The dolls also developed Princess and Lady Daruma versions. The round shape is easy for Russian doll style design as well.

Video credit to @The strange and The Wonderful

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