Ikkyu-San Monk Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Ikkyu-San was a zen monk and Japanese poet from the 15th century. He was famous for his extravagant life and scandals: he used to drink a lot and to frequent licencious houses and at the same time he would practice meditation. It is said that the cawing of a crow allowed him to achieve Satori full enligthenment while he was meditating on a rowboat on the Biwa lake. Ikkyu-San shows us that a good life is compatible with wisdom. A manga comic based on the epic life of the monk Ikkyu was published in the 90's.
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.