The Room 101 Daruma has the “Sakura” flower styling from Matt Booth that I love. When I was looking at buying a new cutter earlier this year, the Xikar with the Sakura style on it was a no-brainer for me. I instantly felt that was the cutter I needed to have. I’ve been really happy with it since, though I think the blades are starting to dull and I’ll probably send it in for sharpening soon.
I’ve seen this in my local B&M several times, but the folks working there could never tell me anything about them outside of their strength so I passed them by for a while. Eventually I saw a Room 101 sampler for sale at a really great price on Cigar Bid so I picked that up.
Going into this cigar having recently smoked the Room 101 San Andres and absolutely loved it, I have high hopes for Sakura-labeled beauty.
In fact, once I start doing some looking into the name I find a variety of really interesting information. First off, apparently when these are bought by the box they come with a pamphlet that reads like this:
The single eye I have penciled in on my Daruma doll is my silent reminder that I have set a goal that is pending completion. My Daruma will become a bi-oculared character once my task is complete. I have one year in which to complete my task – and if one of my attempts should fall short of victory I will not quit, but rather try again. Because, I know that if I do not give up and my will does not falter it is never a question of “if,” but only a question of “when.” We have named our latest series after the Daruma as he symbolizes resilience – a key ingredient to our success. Use your Daruma to set a goal of your own.
Fill his left eye when you have decided what you will be committing yourself to, his right when your task is complete. As the tradition is to burn the Daruma at the end of the year, take a brief moment to ignite a fine cigar in celebration of your accomplishment.
So what’s the deal with the Daruma then? Here’s some wiki snippets I found interesting:
The Daruma doll, also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism.
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century CE. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch’an (Zen) to China. Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend. According to one tradition Bodhidharma gained a reputation for, among other things, his practice of wall-gazing. Legend claims that he sat facing a wall in meditation for a period of nine years without moving, which caused his legs to fall off from atrophy. Another popular legend is that after falling asleep during his nine-year meditation, he became angry with himself and cut off his eyelids to avoid ever falling asleep again.
The eyes of Daruma are often blank when sold. Monte A. Greer, author of Daruma Eyes, described the “oversized symmetrical round blank white eyes” as a means to keep track of goals or big tasks and motivate them to work to the finish. The recipient of the doll fills in one eye upon setting the goal, then the other upon fulfilling it. In this way, every time they see the one-eyed Daruma, they recall the goal. One explanation how this custom started says that in order to motivate Daruma-san to grant your wish, you promise to give him full sight once the goal is accomplished. This practice might also have something to do with the “enlightenment”, the ideal attainment of Buddhism. This custom has led to a phrase in Japanese translated as “Both Eyes Open”. Referring to “opening” the second eye, it expresses the realization of a goal.
In addition, the wiki page for Bodhidharma says “According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan.” Very cool stuff.
Bumpy, one prominent vein. Nicely applied cap. This cigar has a good “feel” to it, outside of the bumpiness. The wrapper has a nice texture.
The Room 101 Daruma has a wrapper that is a great color and very beautiful. It is a very inviting, light, leathery brown color. The label on this cigar is of course gorgeous, in no small part because of that Sakura that I love.
I smell grass on the nose, kind of like a “shiny” earthy smell. Not what I expected, but I don’t mind it. On the cold draw I’m getting a really crazy mix of plum and chocolate. It’s a very unique mix for me and I like it.