Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a Japanophile. So, naturally, Japanese themes pop up in my art, regardless of what it is. My novels often have Japanese elements in them and, likewise, my custom toy work does, too.



This piece is called "Daruma-Kun." It combines a couple of different elements. First, it takes a blank Baby Toyer Qee (the Toyers have a skull-head) and then adds the karate uniform (I should have gone with a yukata, a common robe, like a kimono). The head is my interpretation of a daruma.



A daruma is a Japanese doll (really just an oddly shaped, hollow ball) painted to look like the founder of Zen, a guy called Bodhidharma.



The eye-sockets are left blank until you are ready to make a wish. As you draw a pupil on the right eye you wish for something. Once your wish comes true, you fill in the left eye. Then, on the next New Years Eve you go to a shrine and set your daruma on fire as an offering to god(s) to prove you stuck with your wish.



Maybe "wish" is the wrong word. "Goal" is better.



Normally, daruma don't have arms and legs, so Daruma-Kun is a little different. Also, I won't be burning this one as he's made of vinyl and might be the messiest daruma at the shrine. There is a bit more to daruma rituals that you can check out at Wikipedia.org here: http://en.wikipedia.org/…iki/Daruma



I'm thinking about making more of these and selling them on eBay--I love the idea of things that help you stay true to your goals. I've seen that Japanese film and television productions will often have huge daruma around to symbolize a successful show or movie. I really dig that.



Anyway, so you can check out close ups of Daruma-Kun at my toy site: http://toys.thepete.com/
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