I don’t know about you, but this year has given me a lot more respect for luck than I used to have.
In Japan, people are a lot more comfortable with acknowledging that stuff we can’t control—aka Fate—plays a huge part in determining the course of our lives. But, of course, they still try to influence it.
And the easiest way to get your heart’s desire is to wish on a sixth-century monk.
The real Daruma was apparently a fairly irascible fellow (with a legendary beard), and the reason Daruma figures look the way they do is because his impressive feats of spiritual practice include meditating for nine years in a cave (so his limbs finally just dropped off from disuse), and being so annoyed with himself for falling asleep for a few hours of those nine years that he cut off his eyelids (seems a tad severe, but that does explain the scary staring eyeballs Daruma figures always have).
Despite this slightly gruesome history, Daruma figures are all about hoping GOOD things will happen, so a more cheerful feature is that they’re weighted, so they can’t be tipped over. Daruma might get knocked down, but he never fails to pop right back up.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!
“Patrick’s keen eye for the telling detail reveals her great love for and knowledge of Japan. A great read!” —Liza Dalby, author of Geisha and The Tale of Murasaki
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!