Ikkyu-San Monk Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Ikkyu-San was a zen monk and a Japanese poet from the XVth 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 zen 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 literally “getting-up little priest”. It’s a traditional Japanese roly-poly doll made from papier-mâché and designed so that its weight causes it to return to an upright position when knocked over. Okiagari-koboshi have been part of Japanese children's toys for a very long time; they were already mentioned in documents from the XIVth century. During the Tokaichi festival, also called the Tenth Day Market, people throw several roly-poly dolls down at the same time and the ones that stand back up are considered good-luck charms.
Okiagari-koboshi is a symbol of perseverance and resilience in times of adversity. Just like this Japanese saying: “Fall seven times, stand up eight”. According to tradition, one okiagari-koboshi should be given as a present to each member of the family plus one extra in the hope that the family will grow over the following year.