Modern Shirakawa Daruma Red
Designed in 2011 by 14th generation artist, Watanabe Hanjiro, who has been interested in Daruma since the age of 7. Daruma are designed to be written on and given as gifts, and are especially suited for embarking on new endeavors and projects. The Daruma, who starts out with no eyes, has one colored by the recipient upon beginning a new project, and when the project is completed the other eye is drawn on.
The facial features of this red daruma are stylized symbols of longevity and good fortune in Japanese culture. The eyebrows are cranes, mustache a pair of turtles, the beard a pine tree, and sideburns, standing cranes.
Shirakawa is the southernmost city in the Japanese prefecture of Japan, and is famous for its daruma, meaning "dharma." The doll is symbolic of the legend in which a monk meditated so long, his arms and legs atrophied to the shape we know now as daruma.