Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Rooster

Happy New Year! 

Dave and I had a wonderful time in Phuket, Thailand. I will share more details of our adventures over the next couple of days. First, I thought it important to share happy new year wishes and another Japanese new year tradition. 


These funny looking men are called Dharma dolls. They are a hollow, papier-mâché doll depicting a bearded man and modeled after Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma lived during the 5th/6th century and was the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. They can be purchased at Zen Buddhist Temples. 

The Dharma doll is rich in symbolism and has become a talisman of good luck in the Japanese culture. The phrase “Nanakorobi Yaoki” often accompanies the doll. It translates to mean “seven times down, eight times up”. The bottom of the doll is weighted ensuring the doll will always sit up, symbolizing relentlessly pursuing your wish. Most significantly, the Dharma doll is sold with one eye colored in and one eye blank. The new owner of the doll makes a wish. Once the wish is fullfilled, the second eye is filled in and the wish can be shared and celebrated. The symbolism here is the missing eye helps the owner keep sight of their wish and when their wish is fullfilled, they return sight to the Dharma reaching closer to enlightenment. 

The object on the left of the Dharma dolls is a 2017 year of the rooster Sake barrel. 

On New Years Eve, Dave and I made our wish for 2017 on our respective Dharma dolls. Stay tuned over the next 365 days as we patiently wait for our wishes to be granted. In the meantime, we have Sake to enjoy! Kanpie! 

2017 – Year of the Rooster

According to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, 2017 is the “year of the Rooster.” Depending on the translation, the year of the rooster might be translated as, the “year of the chicken” or – wait for it – the “year of the cock.” Upon reading that at one of the stores, we laughed too loudly and quickly began referring to every rooster we saw as a cock. I know it’s silly middle school humor – grow up already. I can’t. And I won’t. 

The Chinese New Year starts on January 28, 2017. The Chinese Zodiac Calendar is a twelve year cycle and the Rooster is the only bird represented. Other Rooster years include: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 and 2029. According to Chinese astrology, the year of one’s birth sign is very unlucky. Therefore, in 2017, all roosters will experience not as good fortune in all aspects of their life and should take great lengths to find luck. To all the roosters out there, heed this as a warning – don’t be a cock in 2017! 

I realize we are in Japan and not China, however, I must address the numbers of cocks being sold throughout the area. I was easily able to find a cock for my “lucky charm” tree.


As well as a bobble head cock. He is priceless. I knew the moment I saw him, I needed him in our home. He is prominently displayed in order to bring luck to our home throughout 2017.


Obviously, the jokes about the “year of the cock” and having a cock in the house are endless. Regardless if the rooster is lucky, he at least makes us laugh!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén