Posted by: softypapa | March 15, 2008

Daruma Tumblers Drying – Japan Zen Buddhist Bodhidarma

Daruma Bodhidarma Buddhist Buddhism Zen Antique Old Vintage Temple Monk Priest Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Bodhidarma Buddhist Buddhism Zen Antique Old Vintage Temple Monk Priest Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Bodhidarma Buddhist Buddhism Zen Antique Old Vintage Temple Monk Priest Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Bodhidarma Buddhist Buddhism Zen Antique Old Vintage Temple Monk Priest Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daruma Bodhidarma Buddhist Buddhism Zen Antique Old Vintage Temple Monk Priest Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Hand-made Japanese Daruma tumbler dolls drying after receiving an application of paint.  The faces of the dolls will be applied in subsequent steps.  These hand-crafted and painted Daruma figure was made in Shizuoka, Japan by a small Japanese family who specialize in the old style manufacture of these very unique dolls.  The figures are created in the old family workshop where each doll is formed of papier-mache on a hand-carved wooden mold before being moved to an open air courtyard to dry and harden in the sun.  The doll is then cut from the mold requiring yet another layer of wet papier-mache to seal the cut.  Once more the figure is allowed to dry before being taken into the shop to be hand-painted red and flesh tone with dark black beard and eyebrows and golden body accents.  The only area of the doll left unpainted are the eyes in order that the person who buys the Daruma may use the unpainted eyes to help them achieve some important goal.  Each doll is cleverly weighted on the bottom allowing Daruma to right himself when tipped.

“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 tore 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.  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 to remind them 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 reserved for this purpose.

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

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