Mito Komon Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Mito Komon is the main character of the homonymous Japanese series. Accompanied by his faithful servants, he travels around the city to help those who need it. He always ends up defeating the villains and restoring order. He symbolizes justice, strength and benevolence.
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 "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.