Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 11, 2001

Academy of Arts to mark expansion by painting in daruma's blank eye

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

The blank eye of the daruma, is customarily filled in upon the completion of a goal.

Advertiser library photo • 1999

That big red daruma, believed to be the world's largest at 30 feet tall, will return to the Honolulu Academy of Arts at noon Sunday to herald the grand opening of the $17 million Luce Pavilion Complex expansion.

The daruma will have a blank eye painted in to signify the completion of a goal, a good-luck symbol in Japanese tradition. The daruma first made its appearance in 1999 when the academy held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility.

The Japanese symbol is the depiction of the founder of Zen Buddhism, who lost the use of his limbs after years of motionless meditation; hence, its roly-poly appearance. The blank eye space customarily is filled in upon the completion of a goal or wish.

Those attending the opening ceremony may assist in painting in the eye.

The daruma was designed by Fujio Kaneko, installations manager at the academy, and is made from chicken wire and papier-mache.

From noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, the academy will waive its usual admission fees to encourage attendance.