Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An example of a Japanesse Hime Daruma doll

Mary O'Neill Doll Museum
This is an example of a Japanese Hime Daruma dolls. Daruma was the first teacher, a father of  Zen Buddhism. Both, the Daruma doll and Hime Daruma doll have religious context. These dolls are also used as charms, talisman and amulets for prayer.

This may also involve other practices based on people's beliefs and accordingly to this the Daruma doll may give only one-years protection from evil. There are other implications that may be not be quite clear. Some people who are believers are very careful when dealing with this type of doll.

One of the Zen Buddhist  interpretation of  Hime Daruma dolls as a pair was based on a Chinese  legend. The Daruma doll in red always represents the Empress called Jinguu and the other darker colour one represents the Emperor called  Chuuai. These dolls are sold as a pair and are suitable as a wedding gifts (see the photo).

This type of doll is also known as Princess Daruma of Matsuyama or Matsuyama Hime Daruma. The town Matsuyama is located on Shikoku Island  where the traditional observation of Daruma sunrises and sunsets takes place. Matsuyama is a big Zen Buddhist centre  and a variety of Daruma dolls are traditionally sold during the Spring Festival. Princess Daruma of Matsuyama doll is slightly different from Hime Daruma doll.

Photo: The Hime Daruma dolls. Height 24 cm. 

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