During the first few days of January in Japan, millions of people will go to Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples to bring home luck for the new year. The first shrine visit of the year is known as Hatsumōde.
The streets leading to the center of the temple are often filled with stalls selling food, masks and daruma dolls. Daruma dolls are traditional Japanese good luck charms, modelled after the Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, who founded the Zen sect of Buddhism. The dolls are traditionally red in color, however, it isn’t unusual to see pink and green versions. Different colors represent different types of luck, so people choose their doll depending on whether they’re hoping for financial or academic success.
Culture Trip traveled to Kawagoe, just outside of Tokyo, to find out more about Daruma Dolls.