One of my favorite cultural symbols out there, this is the story:
It originated in Takasaki, Gunma, Japan and originally drawn after the likeness of Boddhidharma, the contemporary Daruma doll is a goal setting and lucky charm.
When you first acquire a Daruma doll, both eyes are blank, once you make a wish or set on a goal you paint the left eye. Once the goal is reached or the wish granted, you’d paint the other eye. Therefore making a wish upon receiving this goodie and painting the other eye once it’s realized is strongly encouraged!
Following are the Kanji characters and their meaning.
- Red: These are two of the most popular ones: “福” (fuku) which wishes for good luck and fortune, for every day life. And 必勝" (hisshō): "must-win" or certain victory; for study, business or sports
- Gold: The second most popular one, "金” (kin: gold) indicates, is specific to money related goals and wishes.
1000% NOT traditional, but my funny or creepy spin offs, for fun:
- Goth ones: "暗黒" (ankoku) means darkness.
- Demon/monster one: "悪鬼" (Akki) means Devil.
- Harajuku, Kawaii: The Kanji word "愉快" (yukai) means: pleasant; delightful; enjoyable; joyful; cheerful; amusing; happy.
- Steampunk: "蒸気" (Jōki) means steam.
Can be found as "Daruma", plus your preferred keywords.