With entertainment just a click of a button away these days, it can be hard for us to connect with our more creative and traditional minds, not only that, but our search for amusement can also sometimes result in us turning a blind eye to our human struggles with pollution and waste.

With lockdown threatening to bring on boredom (and the possibility of a lot of unwanted boredom-bought items), Shirakawa Daruma Sohonpo, a traditional daruma making company with a rich history of around 300 years in Japanese folk crafts, has come up with an environmentally friendly do-it-yourself daruma set to keep the kids, or yourself, busy at home.

Oekaki Daruma-chan is a do-it-yourself set which includes a plain daruma doll made from recycled paper and ‘oyasai Crayon’, a set of crayons made from vegetables and rice which are deemed to be of lower quality when harvested, and so are normally discarded. Oekaki Daruma-chan allows creation to exist in a more eco-friendly manner and also makes sure that no good harvest goes to waste.

Designed with both the environment and the mental wellbeing of clients in mind, the Oekaki Daruma-chan is the perfect gift for lockdown. More than a simple good luck charm, the set is designed with the aim of providing “a little bit of fun at home”.

The set comes with a plain white daruma doll measuring around 45mm x 40mm and a set of 5 upcycled coloured crayons coming in red, orange, green, black and purple.

A limited-time item, the Oekaki Daruma-chan commenced online sales on the 18th of May for the price of 2,000 yen. With just 300 sets available, it’s best to get your hands on your own kit asap.

Daruma dolls are a Japanese traditional folk craft modelled after the Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma. Considered a toy by some and as a lucky charm by others, the daruma has a long history amongst individuals in Japan.

Representing good luck and perseverance, the dolls come with two white eyes – the left one is coloured in when the owner chooses a goal to complete, and the right eye is filled in after the goal is completed.

The company behind the Oekaki Daruma-chan, Shirakawa Daruma Sohonpo have been producing daruma products for roughly the last 300 years, since the late Edo period. The store has become one of the largest manufacturers in the industry, with a focus on daruma dolls, daruma-related items and other Japanese folk craft items and toys, known as hariko.

The technical advancement of recent times has allowed the company to be more creative in their designs and has also allowed some collaboration work to go ahead with various other companies. LINE Friends and BEAMS JAPAN are some of many who have recently worked with Shirakawa Daruma Sohonpo to produce lines of unique products.

The daruma created by Shirakawa Daruma Sohonpo are known for their creative designs, with some favorite originals and collaborations being the fox daruma, Brown & Cony and the chubby daruma series.

Most recently, the store came up with an Amabie daruma design, which was created with the hope for the end of COVID-19 in mind.

The Oekaki Daruma-chan set is now available as a limited time purchase for the price of 2,000 yen. Pick up yours here.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.