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Daruma doll

Daruma Doll: A Symbol of Perseverance and Good Luck

The Daruma doll is a traditional Japanese talisman that symbolizes perseverance and good luck. Known for its unique design and rich cultural significance, the Daruma doll has become a popular item not only in Japan but also around the world. This article explores the origins, symbolism, and contemporary relevance of Daruma dolls.

Historical Background of Daruma Dolls


The Daruma doll is inspired by Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, who is believed to have meditated for nine years facing a wall. This intense meditation practice is symbolized in the doll’s design, with its round shape representing Bodhidharma’s determination and resilience.

Cultural Significance

Traditionally, Daruma dolls are used as a goal-setting tool. Japanese people purchase a Daruma doll, make a wish or set a goal, and color in one eye of the doll. Once the goal is achieved or the wish is fulfilled, the other eye is colored in, symbolizing completion and success.

Symbolism of Daruma Dolls

Design and Features

Daruma dolls are typically round and weighted at the bottom, allowing them to return to an upright position when tilted. This design embodies the Japanese proverb Nanakorobi yaoki, which means “fall down seven times, stand up eight,” highlighting resilience and perseverance.

Colors and Their Meanings

While the traditional Daruma doll is red, symbolizing good luck and protection from evil, modern versions come in various colors, each representing different wishes:

  1. Red: Good luck and fortune
  2. Gold: Wealth and prosperity
  3. White: Purity and balance
  4. Green: Health and vitality
  5. Purple: Self-improvement and ambition

How to Use a Daruma Doll

Setting a Goal or Wish

To use a Daruma doll, start by setting a clear and achievable goal or making a heartfelt wish. Focus on this intention as you color in one of the doll’s eyes. This initial act symbolizes your commitment to achieving the goal.

Achieving the Goal

Place the Daruma doll in a prominent location where you can see it daily. This serves as a constant reminder of your goal and motivates you to persevere. Once the goal is achieved or the wish is fulfilled, color in the other eye to signify completion.

Celebration and Gratitude

After coloring in both eyes, it is customary to celebrate the achievement and express gratitude. Some people choose to keep the completed Daruma doll as a memento, while others may return it to the temple where it was purchased to be burned in a ceremonial fire, symbolizing renewal and the release of past goals.

Contemporary Uses and Popularity

In Business and Personal Development

In modern times, Daruma dolls are not only used for personal goals but also in business settings. Entrepreneurs and business owners use Daruma dolls to set professional targets, from launching a new product to achieving sales milestones. The doll serves as a motivational tool, encouraging perseverance and determination.

As Decorative Items

Beyond their traditional use, Daruma dolls have become popular decorative items. Their vibrant colors and unique designs make them attractive additions to homes and offices. Collectors often seek out Daruma dolls from different regions, each with distinct artistic styles.

In Popular Culture

Daruma dolls have made appearances in various forms of popular culture, including anime, films, and literature. Their iconic design and symbolic meaning have made them recognizable worldwide, further increasing their appeal and cultural significance.


The Daruma doll is a powerful symbol of perseverance, resilience, and good fortune. Its rich history and cultural significance continue to inspire people to set and achieve their goals. Whether used as a motivational tool, a decorative item, or a cultural artifact, the Daruma doll remains a timeless reminder of the importance of never giving up.

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