"Story of the Blue-eyed Dolls"
created by Miyagi Co-op, Peace Action Committee (February 1999)

        Table of Contents


Murata Daiyon Elementary School  ~  Mary, Friend of a Japanese Doll   ~

Hirobuchi Kindergarten  ~  My name is Stella Lauranell  ~ 

Uwanuma Elementary School  ~  Voice of "Mamma" Heard Even Now  ~

Sanbongi Elementary School  ~  Blue-eyed Doll Betty Jane  ~

Maiya Elementary School  ~  Sixth and Last Blue-eyed Doll Found in Prefecture  ~

Monou Elementary School  ~  Blue-eyed Doll Mary  ~

Postscript and Reference Books


This story begins 72 years ago, in 1927.

At that time, relations between Japan and the U.S. were becoming worse. The American Committee on World Friendship Among Children had concerns about the worsening relations, so they sent many dolls to Japan to express the friendship of American children. About 2.6 million American children held bazaars and did other things to raise money, and they were very successful thanks to the combined efforts and help of many people. The clothing and hats worn by the dolls were hand-made. There were 12,739 dolls that crossed the wide Pacific Ocean to arrive in time for Japan's Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival). Among these, Miyagi Prefecture received 221.  The dolls received huge welcomes, and they were displayed for Hina Matsuri.

In 1941 the Pacific War (World War II) began. According to a newspaper at that time, in 1943 an order was issued to destroy by fire the Blue-eyed Dolls that had brought dreams to children. Terrible headlines, unthinkable today, read: "Blue-eyed Dolls, You Are the Hated Enemy, Not to be Forgiven," "Enemy Spies," and "Masked Goodwill Ambassadors." For this reason almost all the dolls that crossed the ocean disappeared throughout Japan.

In 1973, a program was broadcast by NHK Television about a "Blue-eyed Doll" that had been preserved in Gunma Prefecture. With this program as a start, it came about that other dolls were found one after another. Now the number of dolls that have been found in the entire country total 300, and Miyagi Prefecture has 6 of these.

We hope that these dolls, preserved by people who did not lose their kindness and humanity during the horrible wartime, will be remembered forever.

As of December 2001, in Miyagi Prefecture 8 dolls exist. Dolls have been recently found at Kaneyama Library and Kawatabi Elementary School. In all Japan 306 dolls have been confirmed to exist.

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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