Fukushima #4 – Okiagari Koboshi (起き上がり小法師)

Okiagari Koboshi are dolls with rounded bottoms, so that when you push them over, they don’t fall but roll back up into standing position. Dolls such as these are made all over Japan, with different styles and looks depending on where they come from. In fact, two other prefectures also feature dolls that wont knock down, Gunma’s Daruma dolls and Ishikawa’s cute Okiagari dolls. I’ll be writing about Gunma Daruma soon, but today let’s focus on Fukushima.

Okiagari dolls across the board are considered good luck charms of perseverance and resilience, and are usually made of paper mache. Fukushima dolls are painted most commonly in red and blue, with white and simplistic faces.


These were bought at Ouchijuku, but they can be found all over Fukushima


Mini Okiagari Koboshi with a matching mini postcard!

The most famous time to buy these dolls is during the Tokaichi (10th Day) Market in January in Aizu-Wakamatsu. You should throw a handful on the ground to check how well they stand back up, and buy the ones that do since those are considered lucky! Be sure to purchase one for each member of the family, plus one for future growth!

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