Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daruma Legend

Japanese Folk Dolls
Signifies good luck
Legend says .... The Dharma was a Buddhist priest. He sat and meditated for nine years. When he finally moved to stand up, his arms and legs were too stiff to stand upright.Nothing can stop the teachings of the Buddha, the Dharma thought to himself. I must move from village to village, sharing with the people what I have discovered while meditating. Since the Dharma could not stand up and walk, he rolled from village to village, spreading his teachings.

The "wishing" daruma doll has a face that is painted without eyes. One eye, usually the right eye, is painted on the "wishing" doll when a wish is made. The second eye is painted when the wish is fulfilled.

Daruma Dolls

My class spent some time creating their own Daruma dolls. The dolls are said to bring good luck, and in Japan it is common to make a wish on one for the New Year. You make a wish and fill in the right eye. When the wish comes true, you fill in the left eye. First we molded Celluclay around a plastic egg.Then we shaped it to make a nose and an indent for the eyes. Using a Daruma I purchased in Japan as a model, we painted the details on our dolls.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Package from Japan

I have been keeping in touch with the wonderful family that hosted me while I was in Japan. The Takahashi family surprised me today with a package! What a great surprise. There were beautiful postcards, a kimono for Dixie, a doggie keychain, a beautiful cloth, chopsticks, and recorders for my whole class! Takahashi-san owns a music store, so we will do our best to learn and play a song on our new Yamaha recorders. I'll post a video when we do! My favorite thing, though, was the kimono for Dixie. She's adorable!

Now she has an outfit to wear when I make sushi, and she gets a little rice to eat.