Samurai were warriors in medieval Japan who were part of the country's military elite, especially in the 15th century. They followed a strict code of conduct called Bushido, the way of the warrior, which incorporates the Zen principles of self-discipline, benevolence, courage and loyalty.
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.