Daruma (だるま) and Maneki-Neko (招き猫)


During your stay in Japan, I think that you will see many Daruma and Maneki-Neko in the stores, shops, and Japanese style restaurants.
These dolls have meanings for Japanese people.
Today, I will explain these two.



Daruma is a legless, armless, and neckless doll.
It is made from wood or a bamboo tree.

You can see the Daruma dolls all over Japan.

“Does Daruma symbolize anything?”

Yes. Daruma dolls symbolize the spirits of “never give up”.
Since Daruma has a round shape with weighted base, they will always roll back upright even when they tipped over.

The name of Daruma came from the Indian Buddhist priest Bodhidharma (the founder of Zen)


Maneki-Neko (招き猫)


When you enter shops and restaurants, you may find an ornamental cat with a raised paw.
It is “Maneki-Neko”, meaning a beckoning cat.

Why are they displayed?

They are traditionally believed to bring success and money to shops and restaurants by displaying at the entrance of them.

When the right paw is raised, it means “good luck in business”.
In contrast, when the left paw is raised, it means “welcoming customers and guests”.




Comment Comment