Netsuke of a daruma, Japan

Netsuke of a daruma, Japan

Netsuke
Japan
c. 1800
Carved wood
Museum no. A.23-1919

Netsuke in the shape of a daruma. One of the most popular charms in Japan, representing a Buddhist priest called Bodhidharma (Japanese name, Bodai Daruma), who  was born in India in the 5th century. He introduced Zen  meditation to China. People who meditate fold their  legs under them and hold their arms close to the body -  this explains why the doll has no arms or legs. The daruma developed its present form about 200  years ago. one of its best loved features is the shape,  which makes it bounce back to an upright position after it is pushed over..