Educational Material with Daruma 


Indiana University, USA, has a good program to teach Kids of various grades about Japan, using Daruma san as a companion.

Here are instructions for kids to make your own Daruma doll.
Students will:
(1) know the legend of Daruma and how Japanese use a Daruma doll in the society.
(2) create a Daruma doll and use it by filling in one eye and setting up a goal.

Social Studies
Daruma is a good luck symbol for success. Compare and contrast the notion of success between Japanese and American cultures. Japanese "success" often emphasizes "efforts" and "patience," while the American "talents" and "luck." Discuss how such a difference would make people’s attitudes toward living.

Here is one more Daruma doll for the kids to study:

The Legend of Daruma (for Kids)

Daruma is a short name for Budhidharma, a Buddhist priest from India who lives in the sixth century. Daruma sat absolutely still and mediated for nine years. He did not move at all, and after nine years he had lost the use of his arms and legs. In fact, they had withered away. So, Daruma is made with no arms and legs. They have weighted bottoms so that no matter how you roll them, they will always return right side up. It is said that it symbolizes the spirit of patience necessary for success.
source .indiana.edu/~easc/

Lower Elementary level

Use an egg to make a Daruma.

Introduce the idea of wishing. Elicit from the students ways that we use to help us achieve our wishes. Examples are wishing on a star, wishing wells, wishbones, or candles on a birthday cake.

Introduce Daruma-san. Daruma was an Indian philosopher and disciple of Buddha whose full name was Bodhidharma. San is a title of respect. Legend has it that he meditated for so long that he lost the use of his arms and legs. As a result he could not walk, but he epitomized the popular Japanese proverb, "One may fall seven times but will rise up on the eighth."

Daruma became the symbol of determination and perseverance. Daruma dolls are often made with weighted bottoms so when they are tipped over they right themselves. Also, they are usually made without pupils in their eyes. When a wish is made, one pupil is colored in. This wish should be goal-oriented and should involve the wisher in attaining it. When the goal is met, the other eye is colored in.

The students should set an attainable goal, color the doll and one eye only. The traditional color for a daruma is red.

Display the daruma. When individual goals are met, the second eye can be colored in and the daruma taken home.

Elementary Level

Daruma-san, Daruma-san . . . Mr. Daruma, Mr. Daruma
Nira miko shimasho . . . Let us stare at each other
Warattara dame yo . . . You had better not laugh
Ichi ni san shi go . . . One, two, three, four, five


Daruma Pebbles

This is an entertainment I do with our kids here. We collect pebbles at the local river or at seaside, in the shape of Daruma, but flat. On one side we write a Chinese character of an idea, which we can take as motto for a day, for example: STUDY, LOVE, KINDNESS, HELP and so on.

Every day kids can then choose one pebble from the box or pick one up from the roadside before leaving the home, put it in the pocket and check if they not forget their motto for the day every time they reach into the pocket.


Kyoiku 教育 <> Education with Daruma

.... Teaching Material about Japan

Daruma Museum


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