Japanese Daruma Doll

Article published at: Mar 12, 2022 Article author: OmotenashiSquare
Japanese Daruma Doll
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What is Daruma Doll?

The Daruma is a traditional Japanese doll, which in Japan has become a symbol of perseverance and luck. Most households in Japan have a Daruma as a lucky charm or a figure which imitates Bodhidharma. Recently, many young generations hold a Daruma because of its adorableness and unique looking.

Features of Daruma Dolls

Daruma dolls do not have pupils but they present large white circles where the eyes would be. It is said that it derives from the fact that, in the past, those who wanted the god residing in the doll to help them achieve their goals would vow that they would give Daruma its eyesight if the god helped them succeed in their endeavors.

The beard and eyebrows painted on the doll are meant to reproduce Bodhidharma’s facial features, but they do not serve a merely aesthetic purpose.

The eyebrows are shaped to look like cranes and the beard is like turtles. These two animals often represent longevity, in Japanese culture. Crafters started applying these shapes on the Daruma to match the Japanese proverb “The crane lives 1000 years, the turtle 10,000”.

There is a Japanese saying, “Fall seven times, stand up eight times”. Meaning, he that falls today may rise tomorrow, or probably similar to “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”, “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

The original dolls were designed to be impossible to tip over. Tilting them would always result in the Daruma swinging back into its upright position. The Daruma is a talisman of luck, but more importantly perseverance.

One asking for the help of this god acknowledges the importance of sacrifice in the face of adversity. For this reason, the doll serves as a reminder that no matter how many times one could get knocked down, one must always endure and stand back up, to achieve a goal.

Colors of Daruma Dolls

The reasons behind the choice of the color of the Daruma are interesting, but convoluted, and hard to find consensus on. Nowadays we can find these dolls decorated in all sorts of colors, each one of them signifying a different auspice.

The red color Daruma doll is linked to a talisman. Some people believe that a talisman can ward off evil spirits. Red color has the oldest history of Daruma dolls and it is iconic of Daruma generally has known to the world. The red Daruma is the meaning of praying for the health of my beloved and praying for the safety of my family.

The white color Daruma doll is for achieving goals. The white Daruma also has old history. People use it for the success of entrance exams or academic achievement. The white is a color reminiscent of innocent and pure white so the white Daruma is an ideal gift for a wedding gift.

The Yellow (Gold) color Daruma doll is linked to money and fame.

The black color Daruma doll, Black is linked to the black figure of profit, therefore, is meant for the success of the business. In addition, the black Daruma is meant to ward off bad luck because the black color does not stain other colors.

The green color Daruma doll symbolizes health and fitness. You will be pleased if you give it to your beloved who wants you to stay healthy.

How to use Daruma Dolls

Upon purchase, the doll is missing its pupils. What you do is paint one eye in one of the blank white circles while committing to your goal and asking for help from god. You would then paint the second eye, giving the god its eyesight back as a thank you for helping you, once you achieve your goal. Don’t paint both at the beginning.

When a Daruma doll brings you good luck or a good result of your achievement, usually we return it to where you originally got it. If you have a new achievement, get a new Daruma doll to have the same experience.


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