Daruma Container

Vintage Japanese Okiagari Daruma Wooden Container for Kokeshi Toothpicks


Age:1955

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: Container- 1-3/4”h x 3/4”w; Tootpicks- 2-1/4”l

Because the Daruma materials are diverse and reflect a variety of overlapping purposes, they are difficult to classify precisely. As with this represents a potpourri of disparate items it is still a noteworthy factor in the total engagement of Daruma in Japanese culture.

An anomaly to many Western observers of Japanese religious life is the tolerance for levity, even seemingly irreverent behavior on the part of the general populace, hence a “toothpick holder”. For Japanese children and adults Okiagari has been a congenial companion. Daruma/Okiagari has been a role model of sorts, and a stimulus to childish fantasy and consequently is included imaginatively in daily activities of all levels of the population.

Specifically related to this piece, the art of wood working and turning in association with Kokeshi dolls and variations of the Okiagari Daruma image, has been utilized to fashion of a number of objects and toys. This container represents the Female Okiagari or Onna Daruma — transformed into a woman by ukiyoe-artists, and contributed to the invention of this female Daruma container for five (5) Kokeshi headed regional folk art toothpick dolls. Each head is wonderfully detailed to simulate the full scaled Kokeshi. Here Okiagari is depicted as a noblewomen. Her role is to enhance objects with hopes and prayers for good fortune. This is a small piece but Very Rare and signed on the back.

Condition: Excellent and as originally crafted.