One of the traditional activities around the New Year in Japan is the shopping for good luck charms and talismans. Regardless if you believe or not, as a tourist you are certainly tempted to buy them as a souvenir, because they are beautiful decorative objects, authentic and carefully crafted (the artisans often transmit their craftsmanship from master to disciple). And every charm has its own legend… and when you learn the story, you desire them even more…
In today’s photo you can see the daruma dolls: these stylized spherical dolls are representing Bodhidharma, the legendary founder of Zen Buddhism. There are no hands or legs because according to the legend they were atrophied during the 9 years of continuous meditation and there are no eyelids because he cut them himself, trying not to fall asleep.
The daruma doll is a unique lucky charm and it also fulfills only one desire: when you wish for something, you draw an eye, place the daruma somewhere to see it everyday (to remind you of the desire)… and after the wish is fulfilled, you draw the second eye. For another wish, another daruma doll!
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: