The Story of Koneta

One of the two replicas of the original Blue-eyed Doll named Koneta

Hello, everyone. Do you know who I am?

I am Koneta, a Blue-eyed Doll.

Now I am displayed in the principal's office of Saigo Elementary School.

I want to tell you the history of what I have gone through for over 70 years.


About 70 years ago Dr. Gulick hoped that America and Japan would want to become good friends.

He encouraged American children, "Let's send Blue-eyed Dolls to Japanese children to deepen our friendship with them."

I was named Koneta after the city of Wapakoneta in Ohio.


When I arrived at Saigo Elementary School in April 1927, I received a huge welcome from the children.

I enjoyed very happy days because everyone was glad that I had come.

However, war began between Japan and America in 1941. The sound of bombs increased day by day, and one town after another was burned.

Some said, "Burn the American dolls because they are dolls of the enemy." My friends, the other Blue-eyed Dolls, one after another were burned and were stabbed with bamboo spears. I was very sad.

What happened to me at Saigo Elementary School?

"Get rid of Koneta," said the principal at that time.

Mr. Inagaki, one of the teachers at the school, said, " Leave it to me," and he secretly brought me to his house and hid me.


Mr. Inagaki, who had to go to war, thought it would be trouble for his family if I were found.

He wrapped me up in newspaper and quietly hid me in the back of a closet at school.

In 1987, I was found in the school closet.

After that, I have been taken care of by everyone at Saigo Elementary School.


In January 1996, I returned home to Wapakoneta, my birthplace, for the first time.

At that time, Northridge Elementary School and Saigo Elementary School became sister schools.

I was very happy because I was warmly welcomed by the children of Northridge Elementary School.

Last November two dolls were made just like me through the cooperation of Toyohashi City. The children of Saigo Elementary School are using one of those to learn about me and my history. The other one is going to the children of Northridge Elementary School. I will be able to make many friends, and from now on I will live happily surrounded by the kind children of Saigo Elementary School.


The photo at right shows the original Koneta (center) with her two replicas (left and right).

Messages from Principal of Saigo Elementary School
and Principal of Northridge Elementary School

More Information on Saigo Elementary School's Blue-eyed Doll
Japanese version of Story of Koneta

Special thanks to Saigo Elementary School for permission to publish this web page
Source: booklet on The Koneta Twin Doll Presentation Ceremony (February 9, 2001)

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