Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Daruma

From G-Shock -

Courtesy of G-Shock
This is one of the latest releases from G-Shock, and hits a very special "start/stop" button for this writer.

This series is styled after a Daruma doll. A few of us recent arrivals to Japan referred to them as Darumas for short and "to Daruma" became a bit of a loan-word verb. "I can't go to Morisaki tonight (local Kasukabe bar favored by foreign residents of the Northern Tokyo suburbs, particularly English teachers) I'm trying to Daruma my student loan" meant that you would forgo an evening's revelry to stick the money aside to pay down your student loan, save for a vacation, etc.

The Daruma's meaning would vary depending upon which local you asked, some would say "it's for good luck", others for "marking a journey", but the most consistent answer I got was that it was to mark the beginning and successful completion of an endeavor.  When you pick up your Daruma doll at your friendly neighborhood "Daruma-Mart" (widely available at large temple-type places as well as any tourist friendly area, and apparently now through Amazon), it will have 2 "unfilled" eyes.  When you start your project you will paint or draw in the first one.  When you have reached your goal or end point, you paint in the second eye -
Courtesy of Live Japan
The Daruma G-Shock series it is available in 3 versions, by my favorite is the DW5600DA-4.

For those of you who follow these things, this is based on the DW5600, which is the quintessential square face model -
Courtesy of G-Shock

Courtesy of G-Shock
And for me the coolest part is when the light button is engaged -
Courtesy of G-Shock
At $110 it is a fair bargain, and for those of you ready to "Daruma the Hell" out of 2021, here are the pertinents -


  • EL Backlight with Afterglow

  • Shock Resistant

  • 200M Water Resistant


    • Battery: CR2016
    • Approx. battery life: 2 years
    • Module: 3229
    • Shock Resistant 
    • 200 Meter Water Resistant 
    • EL Backlight with Afterglow 
    • Flash Alert Flashes with buzzer that sounds for alarms, hourly time signal, countdown timer time-up alarm
    • 1/100 second stopwatch Measuring capacity: 00’00.00”-59’59.99” (for the first 60 minutes) 1:00’00”-23:59’59” (after 60 minutes) Measuring unit: 1/100 second (for the first 60 minutes) 1 second (after 60 minutes) Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times 
    • Countdown timer Measuring unit: 1 second Countdown range: 24 hours Countdown start time setting range: 1 second to 24 hours (1-second increments, 1-minute increments and 1-hour increments) Other: Auto-repeat

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