Often found on Kamidana Shrines, Daruma dolls are said to represent the priest Bodhidharma, a 6th century Indian priest considered the founder of Chinese Zen Buddhism. Bodhidharma is reputed to have spent 9 years meditating in a cave and praying without moving or blinking his eyes until he lost the use of his arms and legs so the daruma dolls do not have limbs or eyes. They are weighted at the base so that they do not fall over, reflecting perseverance and success after misfortune which Bodhidharma strove to promote. The red is the red of his priest robe and the name, daruma, is an abbreviated version of the priest's name.
New daruma do not have eyes painted on them as Bodhidharma used his inner vision rather than 'physical' sight. Instead, large white circles are painted onto the dollâ€™s head. When you receive the Daruma you should make a wish and paint in the doll's left eye. When the wish comes true you should paint in the other eye.
Each time your wish is granted you should take the finished Daruma to a shrine where it is burned with other Daruma as an offering.
This practice is particularly common at New Year where daruma purchased the previous year are burnt at shrines and a new one is purchased for the incoming year.
Daruma are often bought before exams to hope for good luck, at New Years, for the opening of a dojo, to a student for added encourangement or any occasion hoping for success and other major events.
Each Daruma is hand made and measures approximately 6 inches tall.
Other sizes and colors are available via special order. We can special order Daruma in sizes from 2.3 inches up to 29 inches in Red, White, Blue, Pink, and Black. Contact us at IpponSupplies@excite.com for a full list of daruma available.
We also offer special order daruma customization. Get your student's or dojo's name on a daruma. A great motivator for an upcoming rank test or a great way to start the new training year. Contact us today at IpponSupplies@excite.com for more information.