Kaguyahime Moonlight Princess Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Kaguyahime is one of the character of the tenth century Japanese tale The Bamboo Cutter. Once upon a time there was a couple of elderly people who could not have children anymore. One day, while he was cutting bamboo sticks, the old man found a beautiful baby within a trunk. He and his wife gave her the name of Kaguyahime, which means moonlight princess, as the baby was coming from the moon. From this moment on, the old man became extremely rich because every time he was cutting bamboo, there was gold in it. This is how the tale begins...
Okiagari-koboshi means literally “getting-up little priest”. It’s a Japanese traditional 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 are 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.