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A Brief History of Japanese Daruma Dolls
Daruma dolls are representations of the historical Indian priest Bodhidharma, a sage who traveled throughout Japan and China in the 5th or 6th century AD. Bodhidharma is credited with establishing Chan Buddhism in China and Zen Buddhism in Japan. Legend has it that Bodhidharma achieved enlightenment, or satori, following seven years of meditation either in a cave or as he was facing the wall of a room at the Shorinji Temple in China. During this time he moved neither his eyes nor his limbs. Legend has it that as a result of his inactivity Bodhidharma's limbs shriveled and fell off. Another legend relates that angry with the fact that he had fallen asleep during his meditation, Bodhidharma cut off his eyelids in a fit of anger. It is believed that the severed eyelids fell to the ground and sprouted into China's first green tea plants!
Daruma dolls (Daruma is short for Bodai Daruma, the Japanese rendering of the name) are red roly-poly papier-mâché depictions of Bodhidharma. Like the Bodhidharma they have no arms or legs and sit in a meditative pose with large, staring eyes and no eyelids. When knocked on its side, the doll pops back to the upright position (hence "tumbler" doll, or "okiagari koboshi") so it has become a symbol of optimism, good fortune and strong determination. The doll comes in many sizes - the standard size is larger than a basketball. While most Daruma dolls are male, some Japanese localities have female Daruma ("ehime daruma" or "princess daruma").
At New Year time, many Japanese individuals and corporations buy a Daruma doll, make a resolution, and then paint in one of the eyes. If, during the year, they are able to achieve their goal, they paint in the second eye. Many politicians, at the beginning of an election period, will buy a Daruma doll, paint in one eye, and then, if they win the election, paint in the other eye. At year end, it is customary to take the Daruma doll to a temple, where it is burned in a big bonfire.
Daruma-making is strongest in the Takasaki region of South West Japan. It began in earnest here in the late 17th century as a relief measure for farmers who were suffering from famine. The story is that the Daruma Temple instructed farm households to make dolls from papier-mâché as a way of earning extra income. These days nearly 100 households annually make about 1.6 million darumas, accounting for about 80% of all darumas made in Japan. Every year on the 6th and 7th of January, a Daruma market is held in the precincts of the Daruma Temple, and hundreds of thousands of people visit it.
There are many different styles of Daruma Dolls, but there is one philosophy that all Daruma dolls share and that is the pursuit of beauty and artistry through simplicity. This philosophy is extolled at the website; www.dollsofjapan.co.uk.
Ivor Conway has traveled extensively throughout Japan and was enchanted by the beauty of Daruma dolls. The website http://www.dollsofjapan.co.uk is a resource maintained by Ivor Conway and dedicated to this simple but bold art form.
Make Your Own Lampshades
When redecorating your room, you may be faced with looking for new lampshades (or perhaps a lampshade you currently have has gotten damaged). So why not make your own!If your lamp currently has a lampshade on it, half of the battle is already won! You have a base to start building your new shade.
How to Make a Childs Handprint on a Ceramic Tile
This is a fun craft to do with a group of moms and their kids, one child per adult works the best. Each mom will need:---One soft brush, any size but 1/2" works the best---One jar of "One-Stroke Ceramic underglaze", either Duncan E-Z Stroke or Gare One-Stroke.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaners: Perfect for Cleaning Pool Tables
A friend of mine bought a robotic vaccum cleaner as a gag. It's actually pretty fun to watch it semi randomly roaming around the room.
Embroidery Designs Sewing
Denim is a twill weave and runs diagonally and any diagonal weave is difficult to control, whether you are attempting construction sewing or machine embroidery. Twills are designed to give the wearer ultimate wearing comfort by the natural "give" it has.
How to Make Quilted Silver Beads
After making the leaf bead, I was impressed with the detail made possible by the metal clay. Therefore, I decided to use the same technique but create a different look.
An Introduction to Lanyards
Lanyards are pieces of rope, wire, or cloth specifically designed to attach to objects. They are typically used to secure small items such as a work badge, key, identification card, eyeglasses, whistle, cell phone, bottle opener, knife, or compass.
Jewelry Making: Measuring for Bracelets Without a Tape
Your cousin's friend in Saskatchewan has asked you to design a custom bracelet for her. You have all the beads, materials, and tools, but you're stumped about the length.
Faux Wax Seals, Tearing, and Fraying in Your Scrapbooks
Would you like to add more creative appeal to your scrapbooks? Here are three methods to add more depth and creativity to your scrapbook creations.A good way to make your own personal seals is with Crayola Model Magic.
Spruce Up Your Pages with Scrapbooking Embellishments
Having this nagging doubt that you may upstage your precious photos or clutter your pages with scrapbooking embellishments?One moment you're just so tempted to paste the embellishment onto your page, and the next moment you're questioning yourself, "Should I? Should I not?" You even wonder if you're just trying to force that simply irresistible page accent onto your page to satisfy your craving for? more embellishments.Well, you're in good company.
How to Value Your Jewelry at Home or Work
Many thanks for taking the time to read this compact jewelry article entitled 'How to Value your Jewelry at Home or Work'. You are about to discover the intricacies and formulas that highly qualified Gemologists and Valuers are using, right now, to evaluate and appraise gold, silver and platinum jewelry.
Choosing The Correct Comic Book Storage Box
Most Comic Book Storage Boxes are super strong and come with sturdy well-fitting lids and handle holes that can be left in the closed position for storing or pushed open for carrying. They are properly sized to hold a comic in a bag with a backing board.
10 Reasons to Create and Give a Gift Basket!
10. A Themed Gift Basket is for everyone and every occasion.
Embroidery Designs and Thread Colors for Machine Embroidery Sewing
I wish that I had a nickel for each time I've been asked for the "exact" colors I used in aan embroidery design or for a conversion chart for specific embroidery thread brands - I would be a very wealthy woman!Everyone seems to think that someone is going to knock on their door with a search warrant if they don't use the exact colors a designer used in the test sew out or the color numbers used in the stitch directions.Not so - if you don't "think outside the box" and use colors that you enjoy, or just prefer, you are really missing the real fun of machine embroidery! Come to think of it, I don't believe that I've ever used the exact color on any design I've ever stitched in 6+ years-some because I didn't have the exact color & others due to a dislike of the colors used.
How to Make Gel Candles - 11 Easy Steps
Do you love burning beautiful, scented candles? And do you know that you can easily make them yourself? It is exciting and not at all difficult. Here are 12 easy steps to creating unique candles that you can burn at home, give as gifts, or even sell.
Woodworking Beginners: Secret Tips To Start Right
Woodworking: Where To Start - Tips From Experienced WoodworkersWoodworking encompasses a broad area of skills, specialties, and applications. Some beginners take on too much too soon or blow their savings on expensive woodworking tools and machines that they don't know how to use and might not ever need.
Butterfly Candle Holders
Butterfly candle holders are easy to make and a great gift idea. The materials are very inexpensive, and you can use your imagination for a variety of designs.
Coin Collecting - A Fun Hobby
Over the years, collecting coins has grown from being just a hobby to becoming a full-blown enterprise with numerous Internet sites devoted to coins. Over the next several weeks, I will give you a little background about coin collecting to help those who want to pursue this as a hobby and maybe even make some money in the process.
Collectibles: Searching for those Hard-to-Find Diecast Models
For collectors of any kind, there are always those items that are much sought after, but nearly impossible to find. If they're lucky enough to finally locate them, the price is often exorbitant or there are some other restrictions which inhibit their ability to secure them.
How To Make Your Own Gift Baskets
Haven't you always wanted to give someone a beautiful gift basket, but didn't have a clue how to put one together? Gift baskets are such a wonderful gift and can be given for any occasion. Let me tell you how to make such an amazing gift basket even you won't believe you've made it!First, start with your "basket".
The Nuts and Bolts of Vintage Tin Toys
Before Game Boy and Play Station, there were tin toys. During their heyday, these whimsical toys amused children for hours.
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