April 4           Blue-eyed Doll        (1927)

In 1927, America sent 12,739 Blue-eyed Dolls to Japan as a sign of friendship.

In Iwate Prefecture at the Women Teachers' School that was at Uchimaru, a Doll Welcoming Ceremony took place on the day of the Feast of Peach Blossoms (now known as Dolls' Festival) on the third day of the third month in the old lunar calendar. Totsuko Kawamura, a second-grade student at the elementary school there, expressed her feeling of thanks, "Welcome! We will take good care of you."

Afterwards, 204 dolls were distributed to elementary schools and kindergartens throughout the prefecture.

At Johnan Elementary School, second grade student Echi Onotera received the doll as a representative of the school.  On the 12th, the school had a welcoming ceremony in the auditorium.

Soon thereafter, when war began between Japan and America, the Blue-eyed Dolls were viewed as enemy dolls, so at many schools they were lost by being destroyed or by being put far away.

Two teachers, Chiyo Tateshita and Sachi Murazawa, who worked at Johnan Elementary School at that time, put the doll in the box that contained the hina dolls, and they hid it in the storeroom under the central staircase, so the doll was not destroyed.

At present, it has been confirmed that the number of dolls that have been kept is 266 in the entire country, including 12 in Iwate Prefecture.

This is an English translation of a Japanese web page (link no longer available).
Special thanks to the Peace Movement Staff Iwate for permission to publish this web page.
Web page on Johnan Elementary's Blue-eyed Doll.

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