Hirobuchi Kindergarten

 ~        My name is Stella Lauranell.    ~    

This doll's name combines the names of the two people who made her clothes by hand. This year makes 70 years that she has been the idol of Hirobuchi Kindergarten. Her innocent-looking face has become a little bit worn, with marks that are reminders of the being hugged and played with by many children.

One is impressed by how well the other items have been preserved, such as many items related to the doll (doll passport, greetings from the doll's senders in Kansas City, announcements from the prefectural government office, statement of the objectives of the project) and doll clothing (even a set of handmade underwear with a lace border). Stella still exists thanks to the late Mr. Shoji, chief priest of a Buddhist temple, and the founder and first director of Hirobuchi Kindergarten.

In the midst of many other Blue-eyed Dolls being burnt and thrown away, she escaped from being burned by Mr. Shoji's merciful heart and his strong conviction that "I must take responsibility in these unforeseen times."

In the spring of 1979, Stella was found and taken out of the main hall of the temple. That conviction of Mr. Shoji has been inherited by his daughter Setsu Sato, current head of the Kindergarten, and his granddaughter, a teacher at the Kindergarten.  Once again Stella began keeping company and playing with the children, and she even made a homecoming trip to America, where handmade changes of clothing were made for her.

Ms. Sato, eyes half-closed, explains with a happy look on her face, "Every year on Hina Matsuri (Dolls' Festival), I tell the children of the kindergarten about the goodwill of American children, the value of using things with care, and the importance of peace."

Stella is our daughter of whom our school is very proud. 


Introduction | Murata Daiyon Elementary School | Hirobuchi Kindergarten
Uwanuma Elementary School | Sanbongi Elementary School | Maiya Elementary School
Monou Elementary School | Postscript and Reference Books

This is an English translation of a Japanese web page.
Special thanks to Tomoko Shizukuishi and the Miyagi Co-op, Peace Action Committee for their permission to publish this web page and for their kind assistance in this English translation.

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