Thursday, July 8, 2010
I am almost certain that this is not a statues of Jabba The Hut, though the resemblance is uncanny. I am almost certain that it is a statue of Daruma, the Japanese name given to the Bodhidharma, known as the founder of Zen.
Bodhidharma is believed to have been an Indian monk who took new Buddhist teaching to China where it became known as Ch'an. When Japan appropriated Ch'an they called it Zen.
Daruma dolls are found all over Japan. They have no arms or legs as the Bodhidarma spent so many years in ascetic meditation that his limbs dropped off through lack of use.
Daruma dolls are usually sold without eyes. They are used to help achieve your goals. After purchasing one a single eye is painted in as you set your self a goal. When you achieve your goal you paint in the second eye.
Though Daruma is technically a buddhist symbol, most of the photos on this page were taken in shrines.