Thursday, September 22, 2011
I don't remember the exact location, but there used to be an outdoor daruma doll market, right next to a temple honoring the Bodhidarma, founder of Zen Buddhism. Maybe it's still there. I often passed by it when I rode my bicycle on many a Saturday, during my high school years at a certain international school in Tokyo. My solitary Saturday bike rides were a precious escape from the dormitory, from high school social life, and from group-life and group-think in general.
I would pack myself a lunch and swing my leg over the saddle, give the handle bars an encouraging pat, and off we galloped (my bike and I) into the urban wilderness. I loved to get utterly lost in the maze-like sprawl of greater Tokyo, and then find my way home again before it got dark. Only, no matter how lost I thought I was, I always ended up in the vicinity of this daruma market. It became my habit to stop off there to eat my lunch and take pleasure in the piles of bright, orangey-red paper-mache dolls.
Anyway, that's part of the reason I have a soft spot for daruma dolls. I really like the daruma etegami I made for my EarthQuake Series, so I decided to do another series featuring daruma. I think I'll call this one my Holiday Daruma Series. Probably most of them will be tongue-in-cheek. We'll see.