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06 2011

Daruma, Daruma, Daruma

We stopped over at Shorinzan Darima-ji (少林山 達磨寺, Daruma temple) on the way to Sarugakyo hot spring resort.

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Daruma-ji is a temple of Soto Zen School (曹洞宗) in Takasaki City located in Gunma Prefecture.
According to the temple’s HP, in 1680 a villager found a piece of fragrant wood after a flood and enshrined it in a small temple. One day a disciplinant visited there and carved a seated figure of Daruma-Daishi (達磨大師, Bodhidharma: the transmitter of Zen from India to China) out of the wood. Later in 1697, the temple established as Daruma-ji by Shinetsu(心越禅師), the Zen Priest from China.

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The terrace of the main hall abounds with daruma dolls.

The temple is famous for daruma dolls modeled after the seated figure of Daruma-Daishi.
It’s a talisman of good luck to Japanese. The dolls meet various requirements. The word on body shows a purpose, for example, good luck (福), celebrations (寿), victory (必勝), success in an entrance examination (合格), and so on.
For us, I mean not locals, it’s regarded as a votive doll: we first fill in the left eye upon setting the goal or wishing something, then fills in the right eye upon fulfilling.

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Locals get a new daruma doll for good luck every year and bring an old one to the temple.

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The doll has a winsome look.

My best friend’s mom bought small one for me!
I filled in the eye upon setting a small goal for myself.
I hope I will fill in the other eye anytime soon.

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Posted by Kinakinw | 00:05 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

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