Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Flash

I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again..
Around this time of year many people and businesses buy daruma.These are traditional lucky charms.Named after the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma, the daruma are red,hollow,round and usually made of papier mache.They lack arms and legs and eyes as it is claimed he lost the use of them during meditation.
After making a personal or business resolution at New Years one of the eyes is painted.Should the aim be achieved during the year such as a sales goal then the second eye is painted.Many politicians at the beginning of their campaigns buy a doll,paint in a eye and if they win their election paint in the other eye as part of their election victory celebrations.
At the end of the year the old daruma are discarded and burnt.They can be purchased at shrines,markets and stores at various prices and sizes.
The daruma being round and hollow are also known as "tumbler dolls" due to their self righting design.
In class the other day some of the students talked of a proverb associated with the daruma."Nana korobi yaoki" which translates roughly as "if you fall down seven times get up eight" a reference to their design but also to their being a symbol for determination and resilience.

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