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Hand-painted daruma doll

Daruma doll – How to use the iconic Japanese doll.

One of the items featured in your box Senses of Japan is a Daruma doll. I am sure you have a lot of questions about it! What is a Daruma? How can it make my wish come true? Where did the doll was made? What is the story behind it and what am I supposed to do with it? Don’t worry, we will answer all of your questions in this article.

Where was made the Daruma doll you will get in your box?

Nowadays you can find it in other part of Japan. However, the traditional doll is still mainly manufactured Takasaki city, in Gunma Prefecture. The city is the leading producer of daruma dolls in Japan. Made in papier mâché, the doll is then carefully hand-painted. Your Peko Peko Daruma doll comes from the Yoshida makers, a family with a long history of producing the red head.

What does the Daruma doll represent?

The round shape face is a representation of Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk founder of Zen Buddhism. Its round shape is a symbol of tenacity: even if you fell 7 times, you will get up 8 times. On his belly, you can see the characters for fukuiri, which here means happiness.

Two other main features of the Daruma are his eyebrows, represented as a crane and his beard represented as a turtle. Both of those animals are symbols of longevity.

You can find Daruma dolls in many colors but the traditional one is red. Red is the color for luck and good fortune.

How to Daruma?

You will get your doll with blank eyes. Fill in the left eye while making a wish. Once your wish comes true, fill in the other eye. Why the eyes? Legend has it that Bodhidharma was prone to snoozing in the middle of this zen meditations. He then decided to cut his eyelids in order to keep his eyes opens. So… yeah!

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