Daruma are good luck charms that you see all over Japan – and beyond. When you purchase the charm, the eyes are missing. So you have to pain them on. You start with the first one and you make a wish while doing this – you could be wishing for a successful business, good exam results, a swift recovery after some illness etc. Once you’ve made the wish, you have to wait. If it comes true, then you can paint the second eye onto the Daruma.
The doll is modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. That’s why many Buddhist temples sell them to use alongside goal setting. Traditionally, the Daruma was purchased as a household, and that only the head of the household would paint in the eyes. But it seems that nowadays it is a common gift and many people buy it as a souvenir.