Daruma - Curiosities about the Japanese Lucky Doll

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Daruma (だるま) is a kind of Japanese doll that represents Bodhidharma, a monk from India who founded Zen Buddhism in China. Dharma achieved what he calls Buddhist enlightenment after meditating for a period of 9 years. It is said that he remained without moving or closing his eyes. Daruma is literally the Japanese pronunciation of Dharma. It can also be written with the ideograms 達磨 where (達) means to reach, to reach, to reach and (磨) means to grind, polish, cut and improve.

The daruma is a doll made by hand and usually of red color. The wooden doll is represented as a frightening and horrendous figure, but it is not evil. It is done without arms and legs and your eyes have no pupils. People often use a daruma to place orders or simply as a decoration and toy. Despite this, Daruma is rich in symbolism and is considered a talisman of luck and perseverance for the Japanese. In this article we will see some details, curiosities and meanings of the doll.

Daruma - curiosities about the Japanese lucky doll

The meanings of the Daruma doll

The daruma is red because that color represents the mantle of a high-ranking priest. This color is also believed to ward off evil eye and disease. A daruma has no eyes (pupil) because legend has it that the monk Dharma cut his eyelids to avoid napping during his 9 years of meditation in a cave. It is due to this dedication and sacrifice that the daruma is related to hope, perseverance, dream fulfillment and patience.

The dolls are sold without eyes, but according to tradition, you can paint one eye and place an order and when it is done you paint the other. Some write their desire on the heart (behind it). Leave it in a visible place for you to remember your desire and run after it. It is recommended to burn the daruma when your wish is fulfilled, they usually do this at a festival at the end of the year.

Daruma - curiosities about the Japanese lucky doll

The daruma is round, fat and has no arms and legs because the monk spent years meditating with his arms and legs shrunk and atrophied on the red cloak. It is done in a rounded way to avoid laying it down meaning that we must give up on our dreams. His eyebrows are handcrafted in the shape of a tsuru bird and his beard in the shape of a turtle. These are symbols of long life in Japan.

See below the meaning of the different colors of a daruma:

  • Red: Good luck and happiness;
  • Yellow: Safety;
  • Blue: Health and longevity;
  • Black: Fortune and avoid bad luck;
  • White: Love, Harmony and purity;
  • Golden - Wealth and prosperity;
  • Purple - Health and Longevity;
  • Orange: school success;
  • Green: Health and Fitness;
  • Silver: Social Status;
  • Purple: self-improvement and personality;
  • Blue: Education and Work Status;

Daruma - curiosities about the Japanese lucky doll

Finding the lucky doll

Takasai in Gunma represents 80% of the production of these handmade dolls in the country. This city has a long history in the production of darumas since the 17th century, where farmers depended on a good harvest and used dolls as an amulet. There is even a special sanctuary for the Daruma.

Darumas come in several sizes and shapes, they usually have between 6 to 75 centimeters. There are female versions called Hime Daruma, which are usually bought by parents to protect babies. Although they sell the dolls, it is not recommended to buy for ourselves, as this is not the luck! So if you want a daruma, ask a friend for a gift.

Daruma - curiosities about the Japanese lucky doll

In the past, some troll artists from the Edo Period portrayed darumas in phallic ways. They related it to the penis because they are both unable to lie down. Even the prostitutes of the time earned the nickname daruma because they left their clients' Malachi standing ...

Apart from commercial jokes and intentions, a Daruma doll represents three things: its purpose, its action and the result. What do you think of these Japanese dolls? Do you know any additional information to add through a comment? We appreciate your sharing and we recommend reading also:

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