|Nanakorobi yaoki, jinsei wa kore kara da...
translated into English means
To fall seven times,
to rise eight times,
life starts from now...
Named after an ancient Chinese Zen Master, Bodidharma, who lost the use of his arms and legs after sitting nine years meditating in a cave, the Daruma Doll is a symbol of his self-discipline and positive outlook. Its weighted bottom and rounded shape forces this ancient cultural doll to right itself after being knocked over, teaching us to be dedicated and persistent and symbolizing our recoveries from misfortune.
The Daruma doll comes with both eyes blank. Upon purchasing or receiving it as a gift, you paint one eye and make a wish or begin a new project. The second eye is painted when the wish comes true or the project is completed.
The doll is usually garnished with the Japanese character for good luck. Because of this, many politicians purchase a Daruma before starting their campaigns and color in the second eye when they win their election. In the Far East the Daruma doll is considered an effective results tool. It is also a wonderful tool to teach school-aged children the importance of setting and achieving goals while introducing them to ancient and foreign cultures.
The dolls can be purchased anytime but are often purchased around the holidays, especially in Japan when they are purchased during "oshogatsu" or Japanese New Year. Most are kept for only 1 year when they are collected and burned and blessed by a priest in a ritual called "daruma kuyo".
The Pond Doc is celebrating this rich Japanese tradition by carrying the Daruma as an 8" doll or as 4" ornaments for the tree. A shorter version of the Daruma Doll Story comes with each doll and ornament so that whoever you give them to will also know the rich traditions accompanying the doll.
These dolls make excellent gifts for Christmas, for the New Year and all year long. They are great for the classroom.
From Volume 2 of What's
Up, Doc?, November, 1998
© Copyright 1998, The Pond Doc's Water Garden Center. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this article prohibited without prior consent of The Pond Doc.
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