Friend of a Japanese Doll ~
Murata Daiyon Elementary School, founded
in 1873, previously was called Sugo Elementary School. Although this
school also received the "order to exterminate dolls of the enemy country" during the
war, the teachers
at that time could not bear to get rid of the doll, so they put her away
safely. Not long after the end of the war, when
a caretaker for the school, Mr. Saito, was arranging things in a room
where lumber was stored,
he by chance discovered the doll.
Mary was put inside a case with a Japanese doll,
the outside of the case was wrapped with newspapers, and it was tied neatly
with string. Mr. Saito thought, "this is the Blue-eyed Doll I've
heard about," so he wrote something about the history of the
doll and attached it to the cover of the case. He took great care to
preserve the two dolls by sometimes putting mothballs inside the case and
by airing out the case from time to time. There are absolutely no records
concerning the doll, but Mr. Saito's loving care for the doll can be clearly seen
by her well-preserved state.
It is hard to believe that this doll,
wearing a bright yellow wool coat and a hat of the same color, is more
than 70 years old. The writing on her back has become hard to read in one
part, but one can make out the number 216 and her name of Mary. Even
now, Mary, so she will not be lonely, is kept in the case together with her
good friend the Japanese doll in a red kimono, and they are displayed
in the principal's office. Mary made a homecoming trip to America in 1989,
62 years after coming to Japan.
At the school festival on November 15, 1997,
eleven sixth-grade students enthusiastically performed
the "Blue-eyed Doll," the story of Mary.
School Festival on November 15, 1997
"Blue-eyed Doll," the story of Mary, by