In modern Japan, the Daruma is one of the most popular symbols of commitment to an important goal and considered to bring good luck. This armless, legless folk toy represents Bodhidharma, a Buddhist priest who was totally committed to achieving enlightenment through meditation. It is said that he lost the use of his legs and arms after sitting cross-legged for over nine years.
These Daruma are made from papier-mâché and are weighted on the bottom, so that when knocked on their side they will return to an upright position.
Many Japanese individuals and corporations buy a Daruma doll, make a resolution and then paint in one of the eyes. If, during the year, they are able to achieve their goal, they paint in the second eye. At the end of the year, it is customary to take the Daruma doll to a temple, where it is burned in a big bonfire.