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DAIMONYA Daruma Wishing Dolls


The Daruma doll is a centuries-old Japanese traditional wishing doll that helps people to achieve their dreams and goals. Millions of people in Japan regard it as a talisman of good luck and perseverance, making it a poplar gift of encouragement.

Daimonya is located in the prefecture of Gunma, in the centre of Takasaki city and is creating Daruma since 2 centuries. 200 long years of perfectionism in each doll, hand painting all details with a brush, using high quality pigments and gold leaves through traditional techniques learned from generation to generation.

This is the number one task of Sumikazu Nakata, owner of Daimonya and strong representative of Gunma area and its community of Daruma makers in which Gunma is its birthplace.

Takasaki Daruma: History
About 200 years ago, there was a farmer named Tomogoro Yamagata in Toyooka Village of Takasaki.  He and his family made Daruma dolls in winter when they were not busy on the farm. His Daruma dolls were called Toyooka Daruma. Approximately 80 years later, many silk-raising farmers in Toyooka and neighboring Yawata areas started to make Daruma dolls. As they became able to produce Daruma dolls in large quantities, they began to sell them at the New Year’ s festivals at Shorinzan Daruma-ji Temple and the nearby areas.

Traditional art that shows in the facial expression of a Daruma doll
Covered in a red priestly robe from head to toe, with big eyes wide open and lips tightly shut, Daruma dolls have a sturdy body.
Their thick eyebrows are drawn in the shape of a crane and the moustache in the shape of a turtle.  It is believed that cranes live 1,000 years and turtles 10,000 years, respectively.
On its cheek and plump stomach, Fuku or lucky/good fortune in a kanji character, together with creases of priestly robe are painted in gold. Every Daruma doll is made by hand carefully using the 200-year old skills and techniques.  We hope you can see the grace, virtue, and benevolence along with the strength in the face of Takasaki Daruma dolls.

Takasaki Daruma dolls imbued with wishes of the creator 
Every creator of Takasaki Daruma doll makes a wish for happiness and well-being of its future owner throughout the coming year. Takasaki Daruma creators make Takasaki Daruma dolls believing that each and every one they make is able to eliminate the source of conflicts of many kinds by keeping families in the world safe and secure. Takasaki Daruma creators will keep on making Daruma dolls wishing for the happiness and well-being throughout the year for future owners for many years to come.

Traditionally you draw the left eye first. It is believed to have come from the fact that left seats are above the right ones in the Japanese seating arrangement protocol. There are, however, no rules spelled out for this matter. To physically paint an eye on the pupil of a Daruma doll signifies opening of one’s mind. In other words, by painting a Daruma’s eye pupil, you have opened up the eyes of your mind.

Although typically red, the Daruma doll comes in various colours and sizes. In general, this interpretation of colours has become the standard:

Red: Luck & Good Fortune
Purple: Health & Longevity
Yellow & Green: Security & Protection
Gold: Wealth & Prosperity
White: Love & Harmony
Black: Protection against bad spirit and luck
Blue & Turquoise: Accomplishment at work & school
Pink: Love

This Is How It Works:

  • Decide on a specific goal you are determined to achieve.
  • Both eyes of the Daruma doll are blank. Draw one eye to signify your commitment to achieve your specific goal.
  • Place the Daruma doll somewhere visible in your home/office so you are constantly reminded to work on your goal while it also focuses on your goal.
  • Once you have achieved your goal, you can draw in the Daruma doll’s other eye to complete it and thank it for its good omen.

The doll is modelled after Bodhidarma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. The Daruma varies in design depending on region and artist, but the traditional Daruma doll represents the silhouette of Bodhidarma in deep meditation, sitting in the customary Zazen posture. This posture in Zen meditation clears the mind of distracting thoughts in an attempt to recognise the truth by mental concentration – a perfect condition to focus on one’s goals.

A Japanese proverb closely associated with Daruma is “Fall down seven times, get up eight” – emphasising the importance of persistence when it comes to achieving one’s goals.

Count on the positive energy of Daruma and achieve your goals in a positive, motivational and fun way!

Daimonya Daruma at Wagumi from wagumi_London on Vimeo.