A Daruma doll is a Japanese talisman of good luck. Typically made of papier-mâché, it is used to set a personal goal and record successful achievement of that goal. Since it is modelled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, there is a lot of symbolism associated with daruma - from the colour of the doll, to the significance of the crane and tortoise depicted by its facial hair, to the fact that it is designed to stay upright (the Japanese saying "nanakorobi yaoki" translates as "seven times down, eight times up").
To use the daruma doll:
- For a personal goal, colour in the left eye of the doll only, so that you are reminded on a daily basis of what you are working to achieve. Once your goal is achieved, colour in the right eye.
- If you are contesting an election, colour in the right eye first, followed by the left eye upon winning.
- Daruma are also found in business establishments and homes with both eyes coloured, as a wish of good fortune for the establishment.
In Japan, daruma are burned once a year at New Year, as a way of thanksgiving for a safe passage through the year, or to celebrate achievement of a goal. A new daruma is then acquired, and new personal goals are set for the year.
We stock 2 colours in the 12cm size:
- RED: general good fortune, safety and well-being of family, wish of success
- BLACK: business success, being in the black, get rid of bad luck, being safe from natural disasters
Daruma manufacturing is officially recognised as a traditional craft of Gunma Prefecture in Japan, and we buy from Yoshida Daruma in Takasaki City, a company with a 120-year old history of manufacturing them, initially as a sideline, and now as a dedicated product.