Manufacturing of Takasaki Daruma dolls was first invented by Tomogoro Yamagata approximately 200 years ago.The silk-raising farmers who lived in Toyo-oka and Yawata, created Daruma dolls during winter.Today, a majority of Japan’s Daruma dolls is produced in Takasaki city Toyo-oka,Yawata.
The History of Takasaki Daruma
In the course of history, the appearance of Daruma dolls has changed in various ways.
The first generation of Takasaki Daruma dolls was inspired by the Zen meditation image of Daruma. The first generation of Takasaki Daruma dolls resembles human figures because they had curves between their head and torso.
Later, along with the prosperity of sericulture industry in the area, the shape of Daruma dolls transformed to more vertically long figures, which resemble cocoons. These cocoon-shaped Daruma dolls were worshipped as the guardian deities of silk-raising farmers.
However, people wanted to change the Daruma dolls into rounder figures, which enable the dolls to sit up by themselves easily when knocked over. In the early Meiji period, today’s roly-poly-style Daruma dolls were created.
As the shape shifted, the Daruma dolls gained popularity not only among farmers but also among the general public.