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issue 16 | March 2021
‘Daruma’ is a type of popular traditional Japanese doll, especially used for wishing good luck. When you make a wish, you draw one eye, and when the wish comes true, you draw the other one. The name ‘Daruma’ and its shape have been derived from ‘Dharmada’, the meditating prince from India, who traveled to China to teach Buddhism. ‘Daruma’ dolls were believed to get rid of the evil spirit when smallpox spread during the Edo period. Back then, red-painted daruma dolls became widely sought after as a repellent for smallpox.
‘Takasaki Daruma’, now designated as a local traditional craft of Gunma Prefecture, is said to be in production for more than 210 years. These are round shaped, plump dolls featuring their impressive bright red color. Additionally, cranes and turtles, which are symbols of auspiciousness and longevity in Japan, are drawn as the eyebrows and beard respectively. Another characteristic of the dolls is the gold letters written on the stomach wishing safety of the family, prosperity of business, and success in achieving one’s goals.
There is a Japanese saying deriving from ‘Daruma’, ‘Fall down seven times, get up eight’ meaning ‘a failure is followed by success’. The center of gravity that holds the dolls stable symbolizes the importance of having a stable and calm mind, and patience to cope with any difficult situation.
A warm and protective atmosphere fills the space in this wooden paneled hotel room designed by Jasper Morrison. You can sit and relax while looking on to the hotel foyer through the big window and enjoy the view of the lively atmosphere out there.
This is one of the exclusive rooms of SHIROIYA HOTEL opened in December 2020 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. The hotel’s Heritage Tower boasts four exclusive rooms designed by four great creative minds: Great Britain’s world-renowned designer Jasper Morrison, Italy’s master of architecture Michele De Lucchi, Argentina’s famous conceptual artist Leandro Erlich, and Japan’s leading architect Sou Fujimoto. The artists designed the interior of each room creating a one-of-a-kind space unique to this hotel.
The Fugu Lounge Chairs blend in well with the room that appears like a cozy box with wooden paneling. “The goal was to achieve a level of comfort with a solid wood seat and back so that no upholstery is needed, maintaining the pure lines and the expression of a single material purposefully arranged,” says the designer Jasper Morrison.
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Explore more about Maruni Collection 2020 including new lineups of the Fugu family.
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