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Originally from Takasaki, a town in Gunma Prefecture, the Daruma were created by a monk for the benefit of his followers during the 18th century. These figurines represent the Indian monk of the same name (called Bodhidharma in the West), at the origin of Zen Buddhism, which developed it during the 5th century.

How does it work?

Use Daruma
Symbol of perseverance and encouragement, the main function of this statuette is to allow its owner to continue to believe in his dreams and encourage him to achieve his goals. This is why the Daruma has no pupils: indeed, you will draw the left pupil yourself when you set a goal to achieve (professional, love, education, etc.). His unique eye will remind you every day your ambition and you can draw his second eye once your goal is reached. When a new goal comes up, you will be able to acquire a new model.

Main features and colors

Shapes and colors vary but the original Daruma is round, red with black and golden decorations.
However there are other colors available, each corresponding to a specific type of wish:
  • golden for wealth
  • green for health
  • pink for love
  • white for balance or for a wedding
  • black for protection from bad luck
The particular shape of the statue and its weight balance allow it to always get back straight to its initial position. An old saying referring to these dolls is "falls seven times, gets up eight times".


Even today craftmens still use the same traditional manufacturing process to craft Daruma dolls.

Daruma Manufacturing  

After being kneaded and then boiled for a long time, the paper is mixed with a special glue and is placed in molds of the appropriate shape. When the papier-mâché is dry, a first painting step is performed in which the Daruma are entirely covered with white. They are then covered with a second layer of paint corresponding to the desired final color, then the face of the white statue is painted. The next step is to create all the details of the Daruma, such as the face or the kanji on the belly. Finally, the last step is the drying part, during which the dolls are fixed at the end of bamboo rods. Once dry, a paper pellet is glued underneath to cover the remaining hole.
At Tokyo-Smart, we guarantee a solid packaging for these fragile companions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
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