Daruma is a symbol of Zen enlightenment, and the inscription is telling us that it is best to manifest an awakened mind in all we do. Like many portraits of Daruma, the Patriarch's gaze is always fixed on the viewer. Daruma is watching us!
Shirozu Keizan was born in Fukuoka Prefecture. He was ordained a Rinzai monk at age twenty by Tatsubuchi Toei, abbot of Shofuku-ji in Hakata, Sengai's home temple. In 1940, Keizan became abbot of Heirin-ji, a major Zen training temple in Saitama Prefecture. He was a skilled and prolific Zen artist.