Daruma Design

Thoughts on Interaction Design and User Experience.


Daruma DesignDaruma (or Dharma, Bodhidharma) is the father of Zen Buddhism (chan Buddhism in China). He lived sometime during the 5th or 6th century AD. Legends about him vary but most agree that he achieved Satori (enlightenment) after meditating in a cave for seven years without blinking or moving his eyes. During that time his arms and legs atrophied, shrivelled up and fell off. Some say he cut off his eyelids as well – in anger at himself for dozing off, and they fell to the ground and sprouted into China’s first green tea plants.

You cannot visit Japan without seeing countless lucky Daruma dolls, little round red guys at all the temples and in many of the shops and homes. They are also called Okiagari Koboshi or tumbler dolls. Because of their shape, if pushed or knocked, they spring back up making they emblems for persistence, optimism and determination. Traditionally you have one Daruma doll in your home. They are eyeless when you purchase them. You make a wish and draw in one of the eyes, if the wish come true you draw in the other, if not you wait. If you want, at the end of the year, you can return to the temple and burn the doll. This purification ritual is to let the god of that temple know that you are not giving up the pursuit of your wish but are going to take another path to make it come true.


Written by darumadesign

March 29, 2008 at 7:52 am

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