Daruma Doll (symbol of refusing defeat) by dosankodebbie

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Daruma Doll (symbol of refusing defeat) by 

The Daruma is a roundish, armless, legless doll that is said to represent an ancient Buddhist hermit/priest, who meditated on a mountain for so long without moving that he lost the use of his legs.

It has a weighted base so that it rights itself no matter how often it is tipped over, and stands for the spirit of “try, try and try again.”

The Japanese words on this etegami are from a song that is sung to accompany a child’s game where one tries to stare down an opponent. “Daruma, daruma, let’s play the staring game!” The first one to look away or burst out laughing loses.

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etegami, japan, folklore, daruma, dharma, game, song, red, doll, folk art

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etegami, japan, folklore, daruma, dharma, game, song, red, doll, folk art

I am a professional Japanese-to-English translator and an Etegami artist. Etegami is a traditional Japanese folk art that combines thoughtful words with simple images painted on washi paper.

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  • hollyann
    hollyannalmost 4 years ago


  • Azellah
    Azellahalmost 4 years ago

    Beautifully done.

  • mmargot
    mmargotalmost 4 years ago

    I know the figure, but not the background; wonderful image!

  • carol brandt
    carol brandtalmost 4 years ago

    all your work has a special touch debbie

  • Sally Griffin
    Sally Griffinalmost 4 years ago

    another wonderful tribute to the Japenese! thank you for teaching me something new today.

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