Donnerstag, 07. April 2016, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Daruma. How did a religious founder become a doll?

A lecture about Bodhidharma in Japanese art and popular culture.

Beatrix Mecsi (ELTE University Budapest)



Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie, Seminarraum Jap 1
Spitalgasse 2, UniversitätsCampus Hof 2, Eingang 2.4, 1090 Wien


Bodhidharma (Daruma in Japanese), the founder of Zen Buddhism, is very popular in Japan, especially in the form of a fat bellied, red figure. The Daruma is regarded as a sign of fortune, a talisman for adults and a toy for children. There are several games and diverse practices connected to him, but he is still venerated as a religious founder in Zen temples.

In my talk I look behind the various popular images and usages of Daruma. Based on field work and research of Buddhist scripts and art objects, I attempt to shed light on the dynamics of the formation of the legend, its art forms and the popularization of the Daruma image in Japan.

Dr. Beatrix Mecsi received her PhD at SOAS, London. She is associate professor of art history with a specialization of East Asian Art and heads the Japanese Department at ELTE Budapest University.


Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften/Japanologie und AAJ (Akademischer Arbeitskreis Japan)


Mag. Angela Kramer
Universität Wien
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie