Mito Komon Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Mito Komon is the main character of the eponymous Japanese series. Together with his faithful servants, our hero travels in the surroundings of the city in order to give assistance to the people in need. At the end of each episode, he always manages to defeat the villains and reestablish law and order.
Mito Komon was inspired by Tokugawa Mitsukuni, a great erudite noble from the XVIIth century who had a decisive influence on politics during the Edo period and who contributed to elaborate the Great History of Japan.
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.