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asakusa new year's 浅草の正月 (asakusa, japan)

Posted by
timothy sullivan (Tokyo, Japan) on 5 January 2008 in Lifestyle & Culture.

Daruma. i think these guys are simultaneously kinda cute and a little unnerving. if i recall correctly, daruma represent buddhist monks who would enter caves and meditate for years on end. as the story goes, the monks would meditate so deeply that their limbs would atrophy over time; their beards would also grow long and scraggly.

the darumas also lack pupils; i think that's the aspect that kind of unsettles me. still, the lack of eyes is for good reason. daruma dolls have the "power" to grant wishes; when you wish for something, you paint in one of the eyes; when your wish comes true, you paint in the other eye.

NIKON D100 1/180 second F/4.0 28 mm