|Chasing Measles Away - Utagawa, 1862|
A lot of the pieces, 80 in all, deal with the treatment and prevention of three contagious diseases -- smallpox, measles and cholera. A number of these types of prints show Buddhist or Shinto dieties intervening to prevent or cure the disease, such as the one below which is described as a talisman to ward off smallpox.
|Talisman to Ward Off Smallpox: Daruma, Momotaro and Shoki, 1849|
A number of the prints also contain maps and depictions of foreigners because foreigners were thought to be carriers of disease. This is indeed sometimes the case, as happened in Colonial America when the native peoples were decimated by European diseases.
At any rate, I wouldn't mind having a fierce Daruma to protect me from disease.