-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
We stopped over at Shorinzan Darima-ji (少林山 達磨寺, Daruma temple) on the way to Sarugakyo hot spring resort.
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.
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.
Locals get a new daruma doll for good luck every year and bring an old one to the temple.
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.