What is Daruma?

Daruma symbolizes meditation of Bodhidharma - Founder of Zen Buddhism.

What is Daruma?

A Daruma is a Japanese traditional wishing doll that is hollow, round, bearded, and mainly known for its red color. The face painted on the doll is the face of Daruma Daishi (Bodhidharma), the founder of Zen Buddhism. The Daruma is often used as a lucky charm because it is believed to make any wish come true. It is also popular amongst businesses and political election offices to wish for success and victory.

Darumas come in different colors depending on the type of wish, or simply by color preference:


role as talisman; energy, power, and good health


focus and positivity 


emotional and physical health, stress-relief


developing creativity or inspiration


problem solving, staying away from troubles


healing and positive vibes in romance


calmness and increase trustworthiness


success and bringing in money

The Backstory of Daruma

Daruma dolls first emerged in the 17th century in Takasaki, Gunma-prefecture. It was crafted from paper-mâché with the structure of a roly-poly toy where it can right itself on its own even after getting knocked over. This behavior symbolizes resilience, the Buddhist principle of “Nanakorobi Yaoki” which means falling down seven times, but getting up eight.

Daruma as a Gift

How to display a Daruma doll

About ​Happy Daruma Kobo / Crista Incorporated