There is an expression about the Daruma, “seven times down, eight times up.”
This is because the dolls are weighted on the bottom so that it will always come back up when knocked over, and the expression is why the Daruma is said to bring happiness and prosperity, while warding off accidents and bad luck (or recovering from misfortune).
Here’s a Daruma one of Isaac’s student’s grandfather made the traditional way; from crushed animal bone and shell (and some other stuff). On the left, in gold, it says “wishes for success” and the right side says “wishes for safety and commune.” In the middle, in black, it says “Isaac” in Japanese (well, as best it can…) 🙂
In the past, they all used to be one color, red. The main theory of thought is that the monk had a red robe. Nowadays, you can find them in many colors. including the original, each representing a different hope; blue -> progress, green -> fertility / relaxing, yellow -> health / safety, etc.) Since they are sold in the beginning of the year, you can sometimes find Daruma either colored as the zodiac animal (yellow and black for the year of the Tiger) or with some extra parts (bunny ears on the top for the year of the Rabbit).