Konan Town Rediscovered!!

She Survived!! The Blue-eyed Doll

Mary


This is the story about the Blue-eyed Dolls that came from America.

In March 1927, 74 years ago, 12,789 dolls were sent by America to Japan. The following message was attached to each one of these dolls:

Let's always keep the friendship between Japan and America. This doll is a Messenger of Goodwill. Please let her participate in Japan's Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival).

At that time those dolls were called "Blue-eyed Dolls," and they were distributed to elementary schools throughout Japan. At the schools they were loved by the children, and various nicknames were given to them.

Afterward, times changed, and World War II began. Many of these dolls suffered a sad fate, being destroyed in the war devastation and being burned or thrown away as enemy dolls. One doll that made it through the rough waves of such a history remains in Konan Town even now. The photo above shows the Blue-eyed Doll that still exists at Daini Elementary School (formerly Minami Soma Elementary School).

At this school the doll is affectionately called Mary by today's elementary school students.

 
 
 
On the right is a photo showing the welcoming ceremony in 1927 at Konan Chubu Elementary School (formerly Tatsuike Elementary School). It is moving to see this photo with the Blue-eyed Doll and a Japanese doll making friends with each other, surrounded by a representative from each of the six grades. We are interested in their names. If there is anyone who knows, please tell us.

In Shiga Prefecture two dolls have been confirmed to exist, with the other remaining doll being at Hirano Elementary School in Otsu City. According to research, there are 300 dolls that remain in Japan.

We want to always take good care of these dolls as symbols of the deep friendship that has survived the war between the two countries.

Source:  Konan Machikado Hyakka (Encyclopedia of Konan Town)

This is an English translation of a Japanese web page.
Special thanks to Konan Town for permission to publish this web page.

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