October 11, 2023 • Louie Mantia

When I showed even the faintest bit of interest in daruma, Airi planned a little trip to Katsuō-ji outside of Osaka. It’s a temple famous for its abundant daruma. Visitors buy one, fill in the left eye to represent their wish or goal, return home, and fill in the right eye when the wish or goal is fulfilled. After that, they can return to the temple for their daruma to be added to the on-site collection.

This seemed to me to be one of the most fun jobs ever: carefully stacking and layering daruma upon daruma.

Some daruma are quite tiny, but others are absolutely enormous.

Inside temple buildings, I saw some senja-fuda stuck on the ceiling by past visitors.

At a point, it becomes absolutely overwhelming to process the amount of tiny daruma scattered across the temple grounds. Some are very clustered together, while others are placed in extremely hard-to-spot or silly locations. They were even placed at the inari shrine at the temple.

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