School News File 


Sender's Grandson Comes to Kumamoto with "Proof of Friendship"
Japanese-American Friendship "Blue-eyed Dolls"

Mr. Sidney Gulick, 3d (65 years old), a professor at the University of Maryland, and his wife visited Kumamoto Prefecture on the 20th. He is the grandson of Mr. Sidney Gulick I, who was the originator of the idea to have Americans give "Blue-eyed Dolls" in 1927 to Japanese children for the purpose of Japanese-American friendship. They toured within the prefecture and gave new "Friendship Dolls" to nursery schools and elementary schools closely connected with Mr. Gulick I.

In 1888, Mr. Gulick came to Kumamoto Prefecture as a missionary. He did missionary work at Kusaha Church in Kumamoto City for eight years. Afterward, when he returned to the United States, he witnessed a strong movement to expel Japanese from the country, so he thought of the idea of giving dolls for Japanese-American friendship. He established the Committee on World Friendship Among Children. In 1927, the Committee collected donations from churches and schools, and it gave about 13,000 dolls throughout Japan, including 241 to Kumamoto Prefecture. However, after the outbreak of the Pacific War (World War II), nearly all of these dolls were destroyed as "enemy dolls." The existence of only 286 dolls in the entire country and two dolls in Kumamoto Prefecture (at Miyahara and Kagami Elementary Schools in Yatsushiro-gun) has been confirmed.

Mr. Gulick, 3d, visited Kumamoto Prefecture three times between 1988 and 1997. Before this current trip, he had given five new dolls in total to Miyahara, Kagami, Sekidai, Shirakawa, and Obiyama Nishi Elementary Schools.

Mr. and Mrs. Gulick arrived in Japan on the 13th, and they reached Kumamoto on the 20th after visiting Yokohama and Takaoka City in Toyama Prefecture. On the 21st, after giving new dolls to three Aso Town day care centers (Ogaishi, Akamizu, and Nagakusa) and to Oei Kindergarten and Keitoku Elementary School in Kumamoto City, they paid a visit to Governor Shiotani. They also attended a ceremony held at the Kumamoto City New Sky Hotel to welcome them (Tomio Kobori, presiding representative). On the 24th, they plan to return to America.

One of the speakers, Kumamoto YMCA General Manager Tetsuo Koyama, said, "We want to continue telling about the history of the Blue-eyed Dolls as symbols of the peace movement."

Photo: Patricia Jane (left), who was given in 1927, and Barbara, who was given in 1988 (at Miyahara Elementary School in Miyahara-machi).

Published in 15 June 2000 morning edition of the Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun

Copyright 2000, Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun

Special thanks to Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun for permission to publish this web page.
This is an English translation of a Japanese web page.

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