Daruma Doll - Physical Features and Symbolism - Shape


Darumas are still usually made of papier-mâché, have a round shape, are hollow, and weighted at the bottom in a way that it will always return to an upright position when tilted over. In Japanese a roly-poly toy is called okiagari. meaning to get up (oki) and arise (agari). This characteristic has come to symbolize the ability to have success, overcome adversity, and recover from misfortune.

Due to this, Daruma is often illustrated alongside the phrase "Nanakorobi Yaoki", translated to mean seven times down, Eight times up. This is seen in the popular culture on cards, banners, and books. One example of this is Dr Alan Gettis' Book entitled, "Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up: Landing on Your Feet in an Upside-down World". Recalling the Story of Daruma-san in the introduction of his book, Dr. Gettis describes the phrase as "a call to never give up."

The tumbler doll style is similar to an earlier toy called the Okiagari Koboshi, the little self-righting monk which was popular in the Kinki region during the mid-17th century. The original okiagari toy, however, is said to have been introduced from Ming China around 1368-1644.

Read more about this topic:  Daruma Doll, Physical Features and Symbolism

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