Tuesday, March 17, 2009

七転び八起き


daruma: small, papier-mache, eyeless dolls modeled after the Zen Buddhist priest Bodhidharma (left), who was said to have lost the use of both arms & legs after spending nine years meditating. with their round shape & heavy base, these dolls are able to bounce back up when toppled over; this image serves as a symbol of optimism, perseverance & hope through life's hardships. 
the japanese say, "七転び八起き (nana korobi yaoki)" or "fall down seven times, get up eight." the more i live in japan & immerse myself in the culture, i realize how hard working & determined the people are. when faced with a difficult situation, they don't give up or simply quit; but rather tenaciously seek their goals. its no wonder these daruma are regarded as a japanese symbol. 
my student gave me two red daruma when i first arrived in japan. she said i must paint in the right eye & make a wish. once my wish comes true, i can paint in the left eye. it has been three months since those dolls has stared eyeless at me each time i enter & leave my cozy apartment. after contemplating (for far too long) of what my wish might be, i am ready to fill in the right eye & not just make a wish, but set a goal for my life in japan. here's what i'll wish/hope/pray for myself while i paint in the right eye:
  • learn japanese!!
  • make a difference in my students' lives
  • vollgenuss of this beautiful life & my time in japan
  • wisdom for my future & a clear plan for next year
  • roll with my heart (like daruma)
"as he focuses on your goal, he never blinks. he reminds you not to, either." 

5 comments:

hideGF said...

Daruma is sitting on the many books for study japanese.
(You work hard!!)
And Daruma(big and small) are waiting for be painted in there eyes.
I hope you get many knowledge about japan.

The Man Who Knew Too Much said...

I so wanna learn Japanese as well!

Konnichiwa, genkhi and arrigato is as far as I get :D

Emilee said...

That is a delightful tradition/concept. Thanks for sharing!

Anthea said...

Aw this is a great post! You will be great and everything will fall into place with time. I miss you and can't wait to see you tomorrow night lady!

Katie P said...

I must say that you are truly an inspiring person and a wonderful friend. This post really uplifted me and I really felt such a weight lifted from my shoulders for some reason. I know it sounds weird but I just love the words you choose and can't wait to immerse myself in the culture with you!