ONO KIKUE, TAMASHIMA FUKU DARUMA DOOL MAKER
Used as charms for the fulfillment of wishes, daruma dolls represent Bodhi-dharuma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, who according to legend lost his legs and arms while meditating in a cave for nine years. The round red dolls come fully painted and lacquered, except for the eyes, which are to be filled in by the buyer.
The first eye is painted when a wish is made, and the second one when that wish has come true. Farmers might buy a daruma doll before planting, and politicians before the start of an election campaign.
A good harvest or election success would give the doll two eyes.
Hoping for a better future, Ono Kikue and her husband made their first daruma doll after the end of the Second World War, and she has continued to produce these good-luck figures in the fifty years that followed.
Having had no previous knowledge in doll-making, Ono struggled for a long time before attaining the level of skill that today enables her to produce many thousands of daruma every year.
Large or small, however, Ono Kikue's daruma have the same mission: to help people everywhere realize their wishes.
In his garden, Omizu has one almost life-size tiger (used in various festivals), while miniature ones are made to decorate people’s desks and shelves.