Daimonya Daruma: Pair set
Daruma have been the repository of wishes and goals for Japanese people for centuries. The plump papier-mâché figures were once made by under-employed silk worm farmers in the winter months, and represent Bodhidharma, the eastern carrier of Zen buddhism. Their purpose is to help the owner achieve their goals.
Traditionally you should begin by painting the left eye (right as you look at it) first, when a goal is set - adding the other eye once it is achieved. The process of painting an eye (with a brush or marker pen) should at that moment impart your dream.
Items with a deep popular history, daruma are alive today and are the regular choice of exam students, long distance runners, politicians and anyone with a specific goal in mind.
Nowhere is as associated with daruma as Takasaki in Gunma, not far from Tokyo. Takasaki is daruma country, and their form recurs in the local culture.
Within Takasaki, Daimonya is one of the most established daruma houses. Led by nationally recognised traditional craftsperson Sumikazu Nakata, he paints the face of each daruma himself.