Daruma Dolls

One of the interesting aspects of being a blogger is finding ways to push through tedious computer tasks. As much as I love the helpfulness of a long product roundup, they can take hours and hours (and hours) of research and photo editing to put together. So Amy and I found a method that works for us: Hulu. We both like to sit on our respective couches and slog through a full day of internet research while binging on entire seasons of a TV show. While I prefer horror movies, Amy has a soft spot for TV sitcoms and has turned all of us at the office onto Matthew Perry’s new show, Go On. His character suffered a difficult loss and attends regular group therapy sessions, during which he learns lessons or tools for dealing with grief. During one episode, the characters in the group are introduced to Daruma dolls, also known as wishing dolls and Dharma dolls. These traditional Japanese dolls are modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, and are meant to aid in goal-setting or act as a general encouragement toward achievements.

Rich in symbolism, these dolls can be used in several different ways, but the most common use involves assigning a goal to (or writing it on the bottom of) each doll. At the beginning of the process, you draw only one eye on the doll. When you’ve finished or achieved that goal, you can draw in the second eye. The idea is that the little one-eyed doll will be watching you and serving as a reminder to persevere and finish your goal. Seeing that today is the last day of January and the time of year when it’s easy to lose track of New Year’s resolutions, I thought it seemed fitting to share these as little reminders to stay the course and push toward the goals we’ve all set for ourselves. Each of us on the team now has a doll to remind us of our toughest tasks, and I hope they’ll keep us moving in the right direction. If you’re interested in learning more about Daruma dolls, you can click here for more on their history or here to see the models we purchased for our encouragement. Here’s wishing everyone good luck with their goals for the rest of the year! xo, grace

*You can watch a video of Daruma dolls being made in Takasaki (where 80% of all Daruma dolls are made in Japan) right here on YouTube. Just be sure to turn your volume off if you’re at work; this video has some music in the background.

Photos by Max Tielman

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