Daruma doll

traditional Japanese doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism
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Daruma doll

The Daruma (達磨, daruma) doll is a hollow, round, traditional Japanese doll. It is modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism.[1]

The Daruma dolls are a kind of toy (omocha). The Daruma figurine is also a tumbler doll or roly-poly toy. When the doll is tumbled about, it rights itself. The two were well recognized as synonymous by the mid-19th century. Today, Daruma dolls are widely known, regardless of religion or sect.

Most daruma dolls are made of papier mache, and weighted at the bottom so the doll stands. The dolls are typically painted red. Darumas are sold with the eyes being white. Most daruma dolls are made in Takasaki City at the center of Japan. A fair is held in early January every year for the sale of darumas. Daruma dolls are symbols of good luck and business prosperity.[2]

Daruma eyesEdit

Dolls are sold without the eyes painted in. The custom is to make a resolution or a wish and darken the left eye of the daruma.[3] When the resolution or the wish is fulfilled, the right eye is also darkened.[4] This custom is seen widely today especially in the case of election or entrance examination in.


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Bodai-Daruma" Japan Encyclopedia, p. 79.
  2. About Daruma Dolls
  3. Japan Atlas, Takasaki Daruma; retrieved 2011-12-13.
  4. "Japan: The Right Eye of Daruma," Time. February 10, 1967; retrieved 2011-12-13.