Our friends had a pair of giant darumas with blank eyes for us to all sign at their wedding as their guestbook. I was confused when the eyes stayed blank even though the ceremony and reception were both over, as I had assumed they would be filled in at some stage. It was only then that they explained the significance of the blank eyes and I loved the darumas even more!
The Japanese use the daruma dolls as a sort of goal-setting thing. You're supposed to make a wish (or set a goal) and fill in one of the daruma's eyes when you do that. You can only fill in the other eye when you've accomplished that goal you've set or when your wish has come true. It's supposed to help motivate you to complete your tasks. Symbolically, filling in both eyes is supposed to signify a sort of enlightenment (because you've accomplished your task) or is also thought to help the daruma see that your goal/wish is complete.
I absolutely love the idea! So I've set off to create my own little daruma illustrations and spread the word about these cute little guys :) Keep an eye out! My goal is to create a dozen different ones, and right now, I'm about a quarter of the way there. Do you think you'd use these little guys to help you reach some of your goals?