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A doll that was once a real man

Monday, May 1, 2023

You may have sat in a sushi restaurant or walked through Japanese cultural souvenir shops and come across round-shaped red dolls just about everywhere. They are called “Daruma” and have been a very big part of Japanese culture for many centuries now. Many believe in their symbol of good fortune and perseverance and Japanese people find spiritual meanings in these auspicious dolls.

A Doll That Was Once A Real Man 

Daruma dolls are traditional Japanese dolls made after an ancient Buddhist monk called Bodhidharma. He is believed to be the creator of Zen Buddhism. He spent 9 long years meditating against a wall in a sitting position. Unfortunately because of his long-standing position, he lost his limbs in exchange for reaching enlightenment after years of training. The round shape of Daruma dolls with no arms or legs is a representation of his impaired body. 

They are generally red and uniquely designed, according to the region they come from as well as the artist who designed them. Even though many tourists purchase them as toys or souvenirs, they are extremely rich in culture and regarded as a high symbol of good luck to the Japanese people. It is believed that when used in the correct way you will receive perseverance which makes it a popular gift of good fortune.

How To Use Daruma Dolls

They come in many shapes and sizes which makes them fun to collect however, when purchased both of the doll’s eyes are blank white. It is then when the owner makes a wish and paints the left eye of the doll with either Chinese or Japanese ink. The day your wish comes true, you should paint the right eye.

Daruma In Modern Japanese Culture 

Daruma dolls are now found in various colors and appear in shops, restaurants and comic books. They are a form of a good luck charm and every color has a different meaning, such as yellow or gold which represents the color of money and wealth. Here at the Beagley Copperman, we’ve got a special selection of Daruma creations that have been carefully handcrafted by “ Tokyo Design Studio”. You can purchase these as a giveaway for friends or family to wish them good fortune in many different modern ways! 


View our Daruma products

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