At the Treasures of Shinshu "Blue-eyed Doll" Exhibition
Friendship Dolls, Gifts from our American Friends
23 Dolls that Experienced the War, Now 75 Years Later

(published January 11, 2002)
Note: Shinshu is the old name for Nagano Prefecture.

In 1927, the people of America sent Friendship Dolls to the children of Japan to show their friendship. Over 12,700 dolls were distributed in Japan, with 286 going to Nagano Prefecture. Among those that went to Nagano, 23 now exist.  An impressive special exhibition, sponsored by the Shinano Education Association, was held at the Shinano Education Association Building in Nagano City from November 15 to December 14, 2001. The exhibit included the 23 dolls remaining in Nagano Prefecture, along with related material, and Miss Fukuoka (currently on a homecoming visit to Japan), one of the Japanese Friendship Dolls sent to America to express Japan's gratitude.
Mary (left), who remains at Watauchi Elementary School in Nagano City, and Mary Ann (right), who is at Nakasu Elementary School in Suwa City. They are inside beautiful dark hardwood cases. Display of cute hats, skirts, and other items used for the dress-up dolls sent from America.
The journal Shinano Education, published by the Shinano Education Association, had a special edition (Issue 1380) on the Treasures of Shinshu "Blue-eyed Dolls." It includes stories by living witnesses to the arrival of the dolls and other articles about the dolls. In a large exhibition room there were displays of valuable materials related to the Japanese-American friendship doll exchange and the results of devoted research by children. There was also a map showing the location of schools with the remaining dolls.
Articles about the "Blue-eyed Dolls" and the Torei Ningyo (Japanese Dolls of Gratitude) were also exhibited. Good way to know about the history and details of the friendship exchange. Nagano City's Shinano Education Association Building, where the Treasures of Shinshu "Blue-eyed Doll" Exhibition was held. Residents of Nagano Prefecture, please stop by and take a good look around.

This is an English translation of part of a Japanese web page (link no longer available).
Special thanks to Uncle Tell Nagano for permission to publish this web page.

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