International Exchange

Exchange with Hollywood Elementary School

On November 30, 1990, J. David Bagnall, Chamber of Commerce President of Monroe Country in the state of Michigan, visited some Japanese schools for the purpose of friendship. After this visit to our school, we proceeded, starting in the 1991 school year, with children's exchange activities, primarily through letters exchanged with Monroe City and with Hollywood Elementary School. The letters were written in the children's own language, either English or Japanese, and we asked a parent who knows English to translate them.

Also, in 1993, Hofu City and Monroe City formalized a sister city relationship, and exchange activities advanced more when we had visits from the Mayor of Monroe City and the Principal of Hollywood Elementary School.

A "Blue-eyed Doll" is being kept at our school. This is the doll named Rosemary, who was given to us from America in 1927 as a bridge of Japanese-American friendship. Many of these Goodwill Ambassador Dolls of the late 1920s were disposed of and burnt during wartime as enemy dolls. Rosemary is one of the dolls still being kept even now.

This story was communicated to Mr. Bagnall and was introduced to Hollywood Elementary School.  The doll named "Betsey Hollywood" was given to our school as Rosemary's younger sister by the Hollywood Elementary School children, who say that Rosemary by herself is probably lonely.

Betsey Hollywood, who came to this school on October 27, 1992, is a Western-style doll about 50 centimeters in height. Even now they stand together as loving sisters in our school's commemoration hall. 

Matsusaki Elementary School gave a doll to Hollywood Elementary School as a return present for Betsey Hollywood. That doll is named "Sakura Matsusaki." She is a doll dressed in our school's uniform. The name and the doll clothes were based on the ideas of children attending the school at that time. 

The history of the exchange goes like this.

The Blue-eyed Doll Rosemary 

My name is Rosemary. I came in 1927 as a goodwill messenger to Japan from America with many of my sisters. 

When Japanese-American relations worsened, they say that many of my good friends were burned and thrown away. It was terrible.

I fortunately was hidden for over 40 years in a nook at Matsusaki Elementary School. When the old schoolhouse was being dismantled, I was discovered in good health in the ceiling.

Now I live happily together with my younger sister Betsey in a glass case in the school's commemoration hall. Everyone, please come to see me!

Betsey Hollywood

My name is Betsey Hollywood. 

I came from Hollywood Elementary School in Monroe City in America.

I am very happy to meet my older sister Rosemary after her being alone for a long time.


Sakura Matsusaki

  I am "Sakura Matsusaki."

The clothes that I am wearing are the uniform of Matsusaki Elementary School. Now I am living in America at Hollywood Elementary School.


About Monroe City

Monroe City was established as Frenchtown Village in 1817. Later, the city was named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.

It is one of the historical towns in the state of Michigan. Monroe City is 48 kilometers south of Detroit, which is the center of the American automobile industry. It is a city on the west bank of Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes.
Population: about 25,000
Climate: throughout the year comparatively mild with rather low temperatures; similar to climate in Hokkaido, Japan
Industries: car part manufacturing, electric power, and agriculture

In May 1993, Monroe City and Hofu City signed a agreement to become sister cities.

Special thanks to Matsusaki Elementary School for permission to publish this web page.
This is an English translation of a Japanese web page (link no longer available).

Photo of presentation of Betsey Hollywood.

Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - Individual Dolls

Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - New Dolls

Main Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls
Mass Media / Books / Films | Letters
Other Friendship Doll Programs | Teachers' Corner
Links | Recent Changes | Acknowledgements | Children's Page