Need a little luck? You might be able to get it by using a Darumouse. A Darumouse is a combination of a computer mouse and a traditional Japanese round doll modeled after the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, Bodhidharma. Legend says that Bodhidharma sat on a rock for nine years in a quest to reach enlightenment. Because of sitting in one place for so long, his arms and legs became paralyzed and useless. Thus the doll, or “daruma” has no arms or legs. The daruma is considered to be a symbol of good luck in Japan.

Craftsmen living in the city of Takasaki, north of Tokyo in Gunma, Japan are known as traditional practitioners of the daruma-making art. The Darumouse uses authentic daruma created by these artisans in Takasaki. A special coating is applied to the daruma for its use as a computer mouse.

The mouse buttons are located behind the head and the pointer moves by simply shifting the body. Because of this configuration, it does not require a flat surface like a regular computer mouse and therefore it is possible to net surf easily while lying in bed.

The traditional daruma is red, but other colors can be chosen for the Darumouse such as black, gold, or pink with the Japanese written character for “love” printed on the chest. There is also a special edition of the Darumouse called the “Extreme Darumouse” which is nearly 8 inches across and cannot be used with only one hand.

The CEO of the company that manufactures Darumouse chose the daruma as a way to promote the local craftsmanship in Gunma, Japan. After Darumouse proved to be a successful product, they released a new USB flash memory device called “Memory of Daruma”. The device features a little daruma that rotates on a base.

In Japanese culture the daruma is not only a symbol of good luck, but also a reminder of the patience needed to achieve a goal or dream. There’s a saying amongst the Japanese that, “the daruma may fall seven times, but will rise again after the eighth.” The meaning is essentially, “never give up”. The Darumouse acts, not only as an interface device for a computer, but also a tangible reminder to persevere.
[ Read in Japanese ]