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Dharma (Daruma)

Despite his fierce expression, there is something cute about this doll.
He is red and rotund and since olden times, one or two of them are often to be found in every house.
His name is Dharma.
If you knock him over, he will simply swing back upright again.
These dolls are made this way to demonstrate that no matter what misfortunes may befall you, there is no need to give up, just get back on your feet and keep moving forward.
They are an expression of a flexible yet strong will.
The red color means it js a charm against evil, and they have long been used on happy occasions or when praying for something, such as an election victory.
When a person wishes for something, they fill in the left eye with a marker or brush, then when their desire has been achieved, they fill in the right eye.
This Dharma figure actually represents stoicism.
It is a representation of the Buddhist monk Dharma, who founded Zen Buddhism, a religion that is now famous throughout the world.
According to legend, Dharma sat facing a rock wall in meditation for nine years, and as a result his arms and legs shriveled up and fell away.
This doll, with no arms or legs, is said to depict the image of Dharma after he had finished his meditations.

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