MIKAWA PAPERMACHEE DOLLS
Mikawa papermachee dolls are made in the towns of TOYOKAWA and Toyohashi and many other places in Aichi prefecture.
They are sold in the TOYOKAWA SHRINE during the New Year period and on Ocotber 5th, the memorial day of Daruma san.
Mikawa Daruma is one of the Toyokawa papermachee dolls and sometimes also called "Good Luck Daruma" (fuku Daruma )
They were first made by the Naitoo Family around 1811.
There used to be 15 different types, some resembling the Darumas from Matsumoto City.
Daruma's head is rather eggshaped and usually the eyes are not painted and some have a real beard. Other forms are in the form of Lady Okororin, Daruma with a headband and Mini-Darumas (mame Daruma).
Shinto ("the way of the gods") is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people and as old as Japan herself. It remains Japan's major religion besides Buddhism.
Shinto does not have a founder nor does it have sacred scriptures like the sutras or the bible.
Propaganda and preaching are not common either, because Shinto is deeply rooted in the Japanese people and traditions.
"Shinto gods" are called kami. They are sacred spirits which take the form of things and concepts important to life, such as wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers and fertility.
Humans become kami after they die and are revered by their families as ancestral kami.
In contrast to many monotheist religions.. There is no absolute right and wrong, and nobody is perfect.
Shinto is an optimistic faith, as humans are thought to be fundamentally good, and evil is believed to be caused by evil spirits.
The purpose of most Shinto rituals is to keep away evil spirits by purification, prayers and offerings to the kami.
Shinto shrines are the places of worship and the homes of kami. Most shrines celebrate festivals (matsuri) regularly in order to show the kami the outside world.
Shinto priests perform Shinto rituals and often live on the shrine grounds.
Men and women can become priests, and they are allowed to marry and have children.
Priests are supported by young ladies (miko) during rituals and concerning other tasks at the shrine.
Miko wear white kimono, must be unmarried and are often the priest's daughters.
Important features of Shinto art are shrine architecture and the cultivation and preservation of ancient art forms such as No theater, calligraphy and court music (gagaku), an ancient dance music that originated at the courts of Tang China (618 - 907).
The introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century was followed by a few initial conflicts, however, the two religions were soon able to co-exist harmonically and even complement each other.
In the Meiji Period, Shinto was made Japan's state religion. After World War II, Shinto and the state were separated.
People seek support from Shinto by praying at a home altar or by visiting shrines.
A whole range of talismans is available at shrines for traffic safety, good health, business success, safe deliveries, good exam performance and more.
A large number of wedding ceremonies are held in Shinto style.
Death, however, is considered a source of impurity, and is left to Buddhism to deal with.
Consequently, there are virtually no Shinto cemeteries, and most funerals are held in Buddhist style.