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!