A Daruma made of piled-up snow.
As the days pass by
Where has he gone?
No traces of him remain.
Daruma's legs, according to the legend, withered away during his nine years of meditation. The snowman, since he has no legs, has been called Snow Daruma in Japan. Depicting this subject, Nantembo created one more variant of the Daruma theme. On his representations of the Snow Daruma Nantembo usually added the poem by Tesshu Yamaoka (1815-1901). There are several meanings to be found in this poem: Tesshu and Nantembo may have been referring to their concern that the true spirit of Daruma was disappearing in Japan, due to laxity in the training of monks. On the other hand, the vanishing forms and traces may also refer to the state of nirvana, which Daruma achieved by becoming enlightened to his own Buddha nature. (Addiss: The Art of Zen, p.195).
Nakahara Nantembo (1839-1925) | Snow Daruma
Ink on paper
132.4 x 32.1 cm (52 x 12 ½ in.)
Mounting 182.5 x 35.5 cm (71 ¾ x 14 in.)
Original box (dated 1923)