Condition: Excellent

Japanese Daruma Ink Paste Box | Bronze | Showa

For obscure and complex reasons, images of Daruma, often accompanied by an owl, small puppy, fly whisk, (Hassu), and/or toy and became talismans against disease. We see his image on many other utilitarian objects, on scholars and artist’s desks, one such piece is the ink paste box shown in the photos. This particular item is made of bronze and separates to allow access to the red paste, (for Chop/seal use). In many manifestations, Daruma images are often robed in red. The piece has an impressed seal on the back. Dimensions: 2-3/8”w x 2-1/2”h x ¾”d

Historical Information —

Bodhidharma, (Daruma), was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter  of Ch’an (Zen) to China. According to one tradition, Bodhidharma gained a reputation for, among other things, his practice of meditation. Legend claims that he sat facing a wall contemplating life for a period of nine years without moving, which caused his legs to fall off from atrophy. Another popular legend is that after falling asleep during his nine-year meditation he became angry with himself and cut off his eyelids to avoid ever falling asleep again. The current popular symbolism associated with Daruma is as a good luck charm in part originating with the Daruma-dera, (Temple of Daruma), in the city of Takasaki, (Gunma Prefecture), north of Tokyo.


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