Empress Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Empress Suiko (554-628) was the first woman to ascend to the Chrysanthemum Throne in Japan. She had a great influence on political and religious issues: during her long reign, she opened relations with China, strengthened Buddhism in Japan and passed the 17-Article Constitution. She was a modern and loyal woman with strong convictions.
Okiagari-koboshi means "little monk who stands up". It is a traditional Japanese roly-poly doll made with papier-mâché. It is designed in such a way that it always returns to the vertical position, even if you try to tip it to one side. Okiagaris have been a part of Japanese children's toys for a long time. They were already mentioned in writings of the fourteenth century. During the Tokaichi or Tenth Day Market, customers drop a few dolls at a time and the ones that remain standing are said to bring good fortune.
Okiagaris symbolize perseverance and resistance in times of adversity. They remind this old Japanese proverb: “Fall seven times, stand up eight”. According to tradition, a doll is given to each person in the family plus one, in the hope that a baby will be born during the year.