Murata Daiyon Elementary School

~    Mary, 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 sixth-grade students

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.

Friendship Visit to Murata Daiyon Elementary School

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