One version of his origin and history.
Known as Daruma-Taishi in Japan, Daruma dolls most likely originate from the middle Edo Period (1603-1867) and are named after the Chinese Zen Master, Bodidharma. The dolls have a rounded shape and weighted bottom which allows the doll to always ‘stand’ up after being knocked over thus symbolising discipline and positive outlook.
The Daruma dolls’ design is based on the life of Bodidharma who is said to have lost the use of both arms and legs after sitting in meditation in a cave for nine years!
Nanakorobi yaoki, jinsei wa kore
To fall seven times,
To rise eight times,
Life starts from now …
Dolls made in Koshigaya are known as Koshigaya Daruma and are revered as charms for warding off evil and bringing good luck … around 500,000 are sold each year in Koshigaya and surrounding cities.