A Small Rustic Carved Wooden Daruma: Folk Craft

$125.00 USD

early twentieth century
2 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 2 1/2", 6.5 cm x 6.5 cm x 6.5 cm

This is rough-hewn and small sized wooden depiction of one of the most popular good luck talismans in Japan, that of Daruma. 

The historical Daruma was a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, who was the original transmitter of Chan or Zen Buddhism to China and thus revered as a powerful force in the spreading of Buddhist doctrine and the ideas of dharma.

Daruma is often depicted in this roly-poly form and he is often made of papier-mache and is brightly painted a red color. 

More often than not these roly-poly Darumas when first bought have blank eyes: when acquired one eye will be inked in by the owner and a wish will be made. When the wish is granted or the accomplishment is achieved the other eye will be painted in as a gesture of completion.

In this case we see a hand carved version of Daruma who is quite abstract in his rendering. The carving is dark in color, probably due to the prolonged exposure of smoke and soot inside an old home. As well we can see faint traces of red paint, now very much gone, which indicates that this was probably painted red when it was new.

Its form is compact and modern. It is said to have been carved in Nagano prefecture which is fairly rural so it was probably carved by a farmer or lumberman in order to sell for extra cash.

A wonderful old relic from rural Japan and a beautifully warm depiction of Daruma.