Archives for the day Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 6 Part 9

 In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip diary Day 6 Part 7“, I wrote that the 6th day in Japan, we decided to go to Hattasan Soneiji temple located in Shizuoka prefecture. Then, we visited the eel specialty restaurant on our way back to home, and shared the recipe of Kabayaki sauce,which is kind of like a sweet,thick teriyaki sauce.

 Hattasan Soneiji temple is located in the city called “Fukuroi city“,which is in south western part of Shizuoka prefecture.

 I shard some pictures from the Hattasan Soneiji temple with its history
behind it and wrote about Hattasan Soneiji’s famous dango (Japanese
sweet dumplings), stone lantern (Ishi Doro), long stair steps to get to
main building of the temple and shared some more pictures from the
temple,1,000 origami cranes,how to make the origami cranes by
yourself,and lastly, I shared and wrote about Jizou and Japanese
folklore involving Jizo statue.

Then, in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s Japan Trip diary November 2012: Day 6 Part 8“,  I wrote about beckoning cat called “ma-ne-ki ne-ko”

 Here, I would like to write about the daruma dolls.

 Right before back to our car to visit the eel restaurant, I stopped by some small souvenir shops on the street, and got myself a few Daruma dolls.

 I got one small yellow one,and one small red one.

 I have written a little bit about Daruma doll,when I was writing about the popular Japanese game called “da-ru-ma sa-n ga ko-ro-n-da”. You might remember some about them.

What is daruma? 

 “Daruma” is usually red round doll with beard painted without eye as you see in the picture below. This is the red one I got.

 Red daruma doll..

 Daruma doll is a lucky doll and when you make a wish, you will paint one eye on the doll, and when the wish has come true, you will be painting the other eye.

 If you were watching the comedy show on NBC called “Go On” with Matthew Perry plays as Ryan King, in the episode “Gooooaaaallll Doll!“,Yolanda brought a Japanese daruma doll that was sent by her ground mother in Tokyo and she explains that you are supposed to write a wish on its bottom of the doll.

 However, it is ,in fact, not the way to do it.

 Just simply paint one eye of the doll with special pen which is called “Fu-de pe-n” as you wish in your mind.

 If the dolls were sold for the specific goal such as to pass the entrance exams to get into university,for example, then, you would see letters written on front ;doll’s tummy area, with calligraphy style.

 As a basic rules, you would not write wish on Daruma dolls, but you would paint one eye of the doll, and then when the wish comes true, you would paint the other eyes and bring the daruma dolls to the temple,shrines by thanking them at the end of the year for “Da-ru-ma ku-yo-u event”.

 “Fude pen”  is not like sharpie but rather, they are like the pen with brush tip with plastic handle. The tip is like the one for calligraphy. They are with refillable ink reservoir.

 Fu-de pen is a pen designed to write a calligraphy style letters. Here is the Japanese wiki page for Fude pen.You can see the picture of the pen there.

 Here, you can see how the doll is made.

Making of Daruma doll

  If you were a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video.

 At the very first scene of the video, you see Daruma dolls with eyes painted are being piled up.

 At the end of the year, people bring the Daruma dolls to the temple after their wish has come true and every year, monks burn the daruma dolls and people buy new one for the new year.

 The daruma doll burning event is called “Daruma kuyou”.

You may wonder why we buy the dolls without the eyes painted and paint their eye with wish.

 In Japanese, “ga-n wo ka-ke-ru” means “make a wish” and the Chinese character “eye” can also be read “ga-n“.

 For example, the department in the hospital specialize in eye health (optima health) in Japanese is “ga-n-ka”.

 Therefore, Da-ru-ma eye painting with wish became custom  in Japan.

 In Japan, you would see the politicians running the election to become a mayor, prime minister etc.. and you would most likely see Daruma doll whose left eye is painted and the daruma doll will get the right eye painted when the politician won the election.
Meaning of Daruma colors….

Red: You would probably see red Daruma doll often than any other colors.

 Red ones are for any wish. It does not have to be specific. Red daruma is all purpose wish doll.

 That being said, according to suzuranbloom website, red color represent “fire”,which fire climbs up and up,and its color also has meaning of “to devote”, “to win”.

Yellow; They are also all purpose daruma doll.

 The color of yellow is thought to be the color of buddha body and considered to be a lucky color. The yellow also the color of rice plant when they were to be harvested.

 Therefore,the color yellow means “fruitful (can harvest a lot)” , “money luck”.

White: White color daruma is thought to be look like the cocoon of silkworm, and white daruma doll was highly regarded at farmer’s house who takes care of silkworms in the past.

 The white color represents Buddha’s teeth color,and the white daruma doll represents “purity”, and it has meaning of making an effort toward the goal.

 Often time white daruma doll is for those looking for good relationships, or for love.

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Sep 08, 2013 | Comments are off | Japan