Origami Activities for Kids
Design by Michael LaFosse
The Daruma is a popular toy in Japan. The toy is based on a famous Indian monk, Bodhidharma, who brought Buddhism to China over fifteen hundred years ago. One story about Bodhidharma tells how he once sat in meditation for almost ten years, his legs wasting away to nothing. So the Daruma doll resembles a red- robed monk with no legs.
The Daruma toys are always sold “eyeless”
so that the person receiving the Daruma toy
can make a wish by painting in one of the eyes. Legend has it that the Daruma, wanting the other eye, will help the wish to come true. In gratitude for the wish being granted, the recipient of the wish must paint in the other eye.
The Daruma doll is commonly bought at the beginning of the new year, when hope for positive change is highest.
The origami Daruma doll can be used in the same tradition: Make a wish and fold in one eye; when your wish comes true, you can fold in the other eye! This makes for a wonderful New Year activity. Make origami Darumas and mail them to your friends!
© 2023 Michael G. LaFosse / Tuttle Publishing · Reproduced with permission.