The fair comes to town!
Trip Start Dec 27, 2011
48Trip End Apr 25, 2012
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We came home to the town's Daruma Festival, which was a nice surprise! A few of the streets were lined with vendors selling food, Daruma dolls, candy, etc. We sampled the food of course! First we tried a pancake type cake with chocolate in the middle. Next we went for a whole squid on a stick (300 yen). Third we tried what looked like a large taco. It had a crepe like shell filled with shredded cabbage, corn, an egg, and carrot brushed with sauce. And as if we hadn't had enough, we tried an udon soup which was our favorite of the bunch. It was broth with udon noodle, a few vegetables, and a fried udon and shrimp cake on top. Very tasty!
You are probably wonder what a Daruma doll is
The Daruma doll (達磨 daruma?), also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. The doll has also been commercialized by many Buddhist temples to use alongside goal setting.
Bodhidharma is believed to have been born as the third son to a king in South India. He then, following the instructions of his old master, left his kingdom to live in China. He immediately gained a reputation for, among other things, his practice of wall-gazing. Chapin mentions that the legend also claims that he sat facing a wall in meditation for a period of nine years without moving, which caused his legs to fall off from atrophy. Another popular legend is that after falling asleep during his nine-year mediation, he became angry with himself and cut off his eyelids to avoid ever falling asleep again. His discarded eyelids are said to have sprouted the first tea plant.
It is a tradition in the New Year people purchase a Dharuma doll (they very in size and price 300-7000 yen)
As we walked around the festival we came across makeshift wrestling ring in which a tag team match took place. A video is posted for your enjoyment!