Daruma Ichi

Daruma Ichi (Daruma Doll Fair)

Daruma are papier-mâchÉ tumbling dolls that are sold at doll markets held at various times throughout the year. They are symbolic of sturdy character and hard-headedness as well as joy. Custom encourages people to buy dolls that have no eyes painted in. Then the doll owner makes a wish and gives the doll one eye. The other eye is painted in when the wish has been fulfilled.
During the Daruma Ichi held in Takasaki (January 6-7), Tokyo (March 3-4), and other Japanese cities, these dolls are sold in stalls erected on the grounds of shrines or temples. They are similar in shape to the famous Russian "nesting" dolls, and they are often made by farmers as a hobby in their off-hours and sold during the winter months.
Japan Information Network, Japan Center for Intercultural Communications
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IllFestJapan-1993, p. 138
JapanFest-1965, p. 117
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.