Japanese people purchase daruma during New Year’s and at important times in their lives. Daruma do not have eyes drawn on them because the purchaser makes a wish and draws in the left eye, then draws in the right eye when that wish has come true. The areas drawn in ink feature hidden symbols of long life and auspicious plants. For example, the eyebrows are cranes, the mustache is a turtle, and the beard is bamboo.
There are daruma with strong faces created in red, but this is a small, adorable daruma. The daruma have proven very popular with foreign friends and are appreciated around the world as a lucky item. (Mika Sato, director, producer at H.P. FRANCE Co., Ltd.)
Manufacturer: Shirakawa Daruma Sohonpo Watanabe Darumaten in Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture (www.shirakawadaruma.com)
To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&dSpeech