Figurine L'imperatrice

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Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac


Empress Suiko (554-628) was the first woman to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne in Japan. She had an important influence on the political and religious affairs of her time: during her long reign, she established relations with China, consolidated Buddhism in her country and approved the Constitution of 17 Articles. She was a modern and loyal woman with strong convictions for her time. Okiagari-koboshi literally means "little priest standing up". It is a traditional Japanese tumbler made of papier-mâché and designed in such a way that it always returns to an upright position when tilted to the side. Japanese children have been playing with okiagari-koboshi for a long time; they already appear in writings from the 14th century. During the Tokaichi or Tenth Day Market, customers drop several okiagari on the ground at the same time; those who stand upright are the lucky ones. Okiagaris are a symbol of perseverance and resistance in the face of adversity. They echo the Japanese proverb: "Seven times down, eight times up". According to the tradition, one tumbler is bought for each member of the family plus one, in the hope that a baby will be born within a year.

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Technical specification

Made in: Japan Technical specifications: 4.8 cm, with crepe paper and washi paper