You might have noticed that Japanese snowmen look different from their Western counterparts. Let’s examine their origin.

雪だるま (yuki-daruma) – snowman
雪 (yuki) – snow
だるま (daruma) – Japanese form of dharma (Sanskrit). Bodhidharma was a monk who brought Zen Buddhism to China from India.

Bodhidharma by Fugai Ekun (1568–1654)
Japan, Edo period, 17thcentury, ink on paper

Yuki-daruma have two parts because they represent sitting Bodhidharma. Some keen entrepreneurs turned yuki-daruma into business opportunity…

Daruma dolls are also modeled after Bodhidharma. These dolls are purchased at the end of the year to make a wish. Paint one eye with ink, and paint the other one a year later if it comes true.

Source: Bebelhut via JapanSoc


2 thoughts on “The Origin of Japanese Snowman (Yuki-Daruma)

  1. I find the whole concept of Japanese Snow Bhodidharma to be remarkable.
    You will notice however that on encountering any Snowmen, everyone is indeed immediately happier, and I take this to demonstrate that they do indeed have some beneficial powers perhaps derived from their celestial nature…..of heavenly snow :}
    As to their roots in mythology?
    The London Snowman has recently been on an expedition to the Himalayas to find THE Abominable Snowman, and it seems that he may have found that He Himself is the Abominable……
    Look here


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