Wednesday 26 September 2012

Why Daruma Dolls make Great Gifts

Daruma, papier mache dolls with no arms or legs, are modelled on the ancient Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, who is said to have lost the use of his arms and legs after nine years of meditating in a cave.
The daruma doll is associated with good luck and is most commonly used as a "wishing doll". It comes with two blank eyes, one of which is painted in when a person sets out on a task.The other eye is filled in when the goal has been achieved.

Daruma dolls are a kind of "tumbler doll", as they are weighted at their base and will always try to right themselves when knocked over.  For this reason, they are considered to be excellent get-well gifts. Associated with resilience and determination, daruma are closely linked to the Japanese proverb 七転八起 “nanakorobi yaoki” which translates as “fall seven times and stand up eight”.  

Daruma are usually red.  This is thought to reflect the red garments a high ranking priest would have worn. As red is also a colour associated with protecting against illnesses in Japan, daruma  were often given to children to guard them against diseases such as small pox.  Nowadays, daruma can be purchased in several different colours each with its own significance. These include red for luck, black to ward of evil, yellow for ambition, gold for wealth and white for love.

Though they can make excellent gifts throughout the year, their good luck  and talisman qualities mean that daruma are particularly popular at Christmas and New Year. Purchase your daruma from Japanya by clicking here.

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