Daruma, symbol of perseverance

Apart from the omamori I mentioned earlier, another amulet that is popular in Japan is the daruma. Is round figure represents the Buddhist teacher, Bodhidharma. It is said that after meditating for a long time he lost mobility in his arms and legs.

The daruma Traditional are made of papier-mâché and are empty inside. One characteristic is that they have a weight on the base, so that when they fall they recover their original position. This is a symbol of perseverance. There is a phrase that is accompanied by the image of this amulet, which says “Fall seven times, get up eight. Life begins now “ (七 転 び 八 起 き 、 人生 は こ れ か ら だ), and it represents that you should not give up.

The daruma it is round because it is said that Bodidharma lost his limbs after meditating for a long time. Bodhidharma is a very important figure within Buddhism. He even considers himself the founder of an entire sect. Red for the color of his clothing. The eyebrows are shaped like a crane, and the facial hair is that of a tortoise shell, both symbolizing longevity. But the most distinctive of these amulets They are the eyes, which are large and are in white. The exaggerated size of the eyes symbolizes that you have to always be looking at the objective you have. According to tradition, a wish is made or a goal is set when acquiring a daruma and paints an eye. Once the objective is achieved, the other eye is painted as a form of gratitude.

Like the omamori, the daruma they are taken to the sanctuary where they were bought to be burned at the end of the year. This ceremony is known as daruma kuyō (だ る ま 供養). Many politicians during campaign tend to buy darumas giants to ask for success and win the elections.