Thursday, 11 February 2010

Ina Daruma market

Daruma market poster

It was a national holiday today so a few JETs gathered in Ina for the annual Daruma market. Despite it raining all day it was interesting to wander through the Daruma doll and festival food stalls, watching people haggle over prices.

"... there they are a-standing in a row..."

"... big ones, small ones, some as big as your head!"

What's a Daruma? Allow Wikipedia to explain:

Daruma doll (達磨 daruma), also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement.

Upon purchasing a doll it is traditional to make a wish. Upon doing so the wisher paints in the right eye of the Daruma. When the wish comes true the other eye is painted in. At the end of the year the doll is taken back to the temple where it was purchased and is burnt en mass with everyone else's.

Someone got what they wanted...

1 comment:

  1. Is the burning of them a public display? I'd think the red of the paint would make it amazing to watch...