Posted by: softypapa | January 3, 2008

Daruma Buddhist Wooden Figure – Japanese Zen Bodhidarma

Daruma Buddhist Wooden Figure Japanese Zen Bodhidarma Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Buddhist Wooden Figure Japanese Zen Bodhidarma Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Buddhist Wooden Figure Japanese Zen Bodhidarma Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Buddhist Wooden Figure Japanese Zen Bodhidarma Japan Tokaido Softypapa 


Small solid wood and hand-painted Daruma figure.  The figure is in good condition with no chips or cracks though it does have some marks and scratches from handling and past display.  This Daruma figure is less than 30 years old and was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Please read below to learn about the history and legend of Daruma.

Height: 4.1 inches (10.5 centimeters)
Weight: 4.1 ounces (118 grams)

Important note:
Images of the
Daruma items which we list are often uploaded to our Daruma Blog which is an on-line gallery of unique and interesting Daruma items.  The purpose of this blog is strictly to share images of some of the wonderful Daruma we encounter in the course of our work, and to provide a digital archive to preserve these images into the future.  If you purchase a Daruma item from us and do not want a digital copy of your Daruma displayed in the photo blog or archive then please simply send us an email indicating your preference and we will promptly remove the item images.

Click here to see more Daruma items!
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Daruma

“Life falls down seven times, yet gets up eight…”  This popular Japanese proverb is commonly associated with the Indian Buddhist sage DarumaDaruma is the more familiar name of the historical Buddhist monk Bodhidarma, who lived sometime during the fifth or sixth century AD.  Daruma is credited with the founding of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which he is reputed to have introduced into China during his travels there.  Some of the legends surrounding this figure include tales that he achieved enlightenment or satori only after meditating in a cave for seven years without blinking or moving his eyes.  Another story tells that his enlightenment occurred within a temple in China where he spent his seven years sitting in a room staring at a wall.  Apparently at some point during his long meditation Daruma became so overcome with fatigue that he cut off his eyelids in anger and tossed them to the ground.  These are reputed to have then sprouted into China’s first green tea plants!  It is said that Daruma’s long meditation caused his arms and legs to wither and fall off, leaving him as an armless, legless and eyelidless (yet enlightened) Bodhidarma…  The Japanese love this story and admire Daruma for his spirit and determination, and each new year many Japanese will buy a paper-mache Daruma tumbler doll in order to enlist its services in helping them persevere towards their own goals or achievements.  The dolls are sold with unpainted eyes, allowing the new owner to paint in one eye to symbolize the start of a new goal or venture.  The doll is then placed in a prominent place within the home or at work in order to remind the owner to keep after their aim.  Japanese students especially utilize Daruma to motivate them with their studies; placing a one-eyed Daruma before them on their desk as motivation to work hard and make the grade.  Only after the goal is achieved will the owner then paint in the second eye, symbolizing a realized goal.  Daruma dolls which have completed their jobs as perseverance role models are normally then brought to a temple to be burned during special ceremonies set aside for this purpose.  The last images below are various representations of Daruma found at a Zen temple near our home in Japan.

item code: R1S4-0003387
ship code: L1650

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