Shinsengumi the Warrior Okiagari Roly-poly Doll
Shinsengumi means the New Squad. This group of samurais was formed between 1863 and 1869 in order to give support to the Japanese military government. Their code of conduct included courage, compassion, honour and loyalty among other values. They wore a blue uniform with a white rope crossed on their chest and white mountains depicted on both sleeves. The Shinsengumi squad became famous defending bravely Tokio.
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.