The Daruma is a traditional Japanese doll, which in Japan has become a symbol of perseverance and luck. But outside Japan, few people know of its history or what hides behind its goofy look.
Imagine you’re visiting Japan. Before traveling back home, you have a few more days, and your friends and family all ask you to bring souvenirs. If you want to be original, maybe avoid the usual alcohol, keychains with pictures of famous landmarks, or the very popular (rightfully so) but a little cliché multi-flavors of KitKat. You see a cute, red, round doll in one of the shops’ windows as you walk. You stumbled upon one of the most iconic Japanese items you can find.
The Daruma is indeed one of the symbols of Japan. It makes sense to take home with you and give it as a present or display it on a shelf, but its appearance might be deceiving, as this doll, representing a deity, has a long history, rich heritage, and a quite disturbing origin.