Crafts & Hobbies Information

A Brief History of Japanese Daruma Dolls


Daruma dolls are representations of the historical Indian priest Bodhidharma, a sage who traveled throughout Japan and China in the 5th or 6th century AD. Bodhidharma is credited with establishing Chan Buddhism in China and Zen Buddhism in Japan. Legend has it that Bodhidharma achieved enlightenment, or satori, following seven years of meditation either in a cave or as he was facing the wall of a room at the Shorinji Temple in China. During this time he moved neither his eyes nor his limbs. Legend has it that as a result of his inactivity Bodhidharma's limbs shriveled and fell off. Another legend relates that angry with the fact that he had fallen asleep during his meditation, Bodhidharma cut off his eyelids in a fit of anger. It is believed that the severed eyelids fell to the ground and sprouted into China's first green tea plants!

Daruma dolls (Daruma is short for Bodai Daruma, the Japanese rendering of the name) are red roly-poly papier-mch depictions of Bodhidharma. Like the Bodhidharma they have no arms or legs and sit in a meditative pose with large, staring eyes and no eyelids. When knocked on its side, the doll pops back to the upright position (hence "tumbler" doll, or "okiagari koboshi") so it has become a symbol of optimism, good fortune and strong determination. The doll comes in many sizes - the standard size is larger than a basketball. While most Daruma dolls are male, some Japanese localities have female Daruma ("ehime daruma" or "princess daruma").

At New Year time, many Japanese individuals and corporations buy a Daruma doll, make a resolution, and then paint in one of the eyes. If, during the year, they are able to achieve their goal, they paint in the second eye. Many politicians, at the beginning of an election period, will buy a Daruma doll, paint in one eye, and then, if they win the election, paint in the other eye. At year end, it is customary to take the Daruma doll to a temple, where it is burned in a big bonfire.

Daruma-making is strongest in the Takasaki region of South West Japan. It began in earnest here in the late 17th century as a relief measure for farmers who were suffering from famine. The story is that the Daruma Temple instructed farm households to make dolls from papier-mch as a way of earning extra income. These days nearly 100 households annually make about 1.6 million darumas, accounting for about 80% of all darumas made in Japan. Every year on the 6th and 7th of January, a Daruma market is held in the precincts of the Daruma Temple, and hundreds of thousands of people visit it.

There are many different styles of Daruma Dolls, but there is one philosophy that all Daruma dolls share and that is the pursuit of beauty and artistry through simplicity. This philosophy is extolled at the website; www.dollsofjapan.co.uk.

Ivor Conway has traveled extensively throughout Japan and was enchanted by the beauty of Daruma dolls. The website http://www.dollsofjapan.co.uk is a resource maintained by Ivor Conway and dedicated to this simple but bold art form.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Homecoming Crafts at Wheelhouse
Madison.com
Celebrate UW-Madison\'s homecoming and show your Badger pride with FREE crafting at Wheelhouse Studios. Make a gameday beaded necklace or a couple of buttons! Sponsored by Wisconsin Union.



MyCentralJersey.com

Preparing for Rhinebeck 2018
MyCentralJersey.com
Here are six of us as we prepare to take Rhinebeck by storm in 2016: Liz, who's driving again this year; Yvonne, who isn't coming; Karen, who is coming; Pam Grannik, who died; me and Judy, who is coming. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Karen Katz). Well, the ...



Build Your Own Scarecrow
Madison.com
Did you know… Scarecrows originated back in the Egyptian days nearly 3000 years ago. The Gotham TV show has its own version of a Scarecrow. As you might recall from the Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow was searching for a brain. At America's Best Flowers, ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Giving away yarn can be fun
MyCentralJersey.com
It appears now that I don't have any of that smokey yarn from Sarah left, people from knitting groups are finally reading my posts about it and contacting me for free yarn for their groups. Yesterday, someone from a prayer shawl group in Highland Park ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Another Aran hat for charity
MyCentralJersey.com
I haven't given up on charting the Aran hat with the diamonds of Irish Moss and the Honeycomb panels, but I decided to try something else first. So I cast on for another Aran hat, and I ran out of my tail for the long-tail cast-on at 96 stitches ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Book review: 'Knits for girls and young juniors' by Lee Gant
MyCentralJersey.com
On Lee Gant's Facebook timeline is a photo of a motto that says, “If you want the best from the world, offer your best.” That motto pretty much sums up all the steps and missteps that have led to this review. I've written a few times about Lee Gant ...



Typewriters on the Terrace
Madison.com
Come join Holding History for Typewriters on the Terrace! This free, drop-in, event will give you a chance to play with typewriters and handmade paper while creating anything from unique Mad Libs to entertain your friends with to one-of-a-kind letters ...



MyCentralJersey.com

I had a good time at the VNA Rummage Sale yesterday
MyCentralJersey.com
I arrived at the VNA Rummage sale a little before 1 p.m. yesterday (Saturday, Oct. 6) and headed straight for the Dry Goods tent, where the knitting supplies are. I was grateful in a way to see that a lot of the yarn was already sold. My friend ...



MyCentralJersey.com

Will I ever get this pattern written?
MyCentralJersey.com
For years, I've been making an Aran hat for our winter charity knitting. The one I'm making now is a little different but the same idea as two I'm showing below that I made two years ago. It's based on my “Alex's favorite beanie” pattern, and it's easy ...



Southern Lakes Auto Modelers GRAND SLAM NNL No. 3
Madison.com
Toy and Model Swap Meet to be held at the Johnstown Community Center in Johnstown, WI, just west of Delavan, and east of Janesville on Cty Hwy A. We will have lots of vendors in conjunction with our model car show. General Admission is $5.00.


Google News

home | site map | Shell Art
© 2006