Daruma-dera / Horin-ji 達磨寺/法輪寺
Not drama, Daruma!
These intriguing blind snowmen of Daruma-dera bring a touch of magic to Buddhism.
Haven in the heart of Kyoto, near Enmachi, this small Buddhist temple belonging to the esoteric Shingon sect seems dedicated to the plump, red Daruma statue. The crowds are often busy visiting the classic sacred places of the city, so a visit to this temple is nice break to appreciate the diverse array of Daruma who too have found refuge here. The garden at the rear lets you enjoy a few moments of tranquility away from the main thoroughfares of the city.
The Daruma, plump figurines who have made this temple famous, represent Boddhidarma, the founder of the famous Indian Buddhist school of meditation called Zen in Japan. They have a face or a body encasing a mustachioed face, where the eyes are white, without pupils. They were quickly adopted by popular culture that awarded them the ability to grant wishes. These curious characters are traditionally bought before an important event such as a competition or an election. During the acquisition, it is customary to paint a single iris in one of the empty sockets, an act of materializing your wish. If the wish comes true, then the Daruma has a chance to fully recover his sight.
Korean Daruma, female Daruma, and their brethern exhibited here show that this figure is not only red! For 1,000 yen, lucky visitors can start with a small statuette and hope to see their dreams come true.