Vintage Japanese “Kijigan gu” (Daruma) Car by Kobayashi Seijiro (1918-2015)

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Dimension: 5-1/4"h x 5-0"l

A very rare find in excellent workable condition is this Daruma car with four moveable wheels by a famous Yamagata woodworker. The Daruma that is sitting on top of this pull toy has a round body in the typical red with Daruma showing a stern face with large eyebrows, large determined eyes, and an expressive nose surrounded by facial hair. As with all Daruma figures, he has no arms, as a reminder of Bodhidharma losing his limbs in his quest to reach enlightenment through self-sacrifice. As with the traditional Daruma figures he is always painted in red, a color that represents a supernatural background because of monks wearing red robes.

As for the abstract design of the car, Daruma is a symbol of perseverance and luck which somewhat matches the shape and forward movement of this vehicle having large tires, all painted in multi-colored strips of red, green, and purple. The kanji on the front of his body represents “luck”, “fortune”, “and perseverance” as he moves through life and each task. The piece is signed by this Yamagata artist on the bottom of the car.

See our e-book entitled: A Collector’s Guide: Traditional and Creative Kokeshi and Toys:

Condition: Excellent meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship and functions as intended, showing a wonderful-developed patina and is void of damage, cracks, breakage, or repairs and meets all the standards of the collectible Vintage Traditional Kokeshi Toys.