A "Blue-eyed Doll is kept with care at Tahara Chubu Elementary
School. The doll's name is "Marshall Central."
The "Blue-eyed Dolls" were sent by American children about 70
years ago in 1927. At that time America and Japan did not have good
relations. Dr. Sidney Gulick, who thought this situation was
regrettable, advocated to Americans that they cultivate in children
a spirit of international friendship. Many people responded to his
plea, and 12,739 Blue-eyed Dolls traveled the long distance to
Japan. The dolls had passports, and they carried a message from Dr.
Gulick. One of these dolls is Marshall Central.
Marshall Central arrived at Mikawa Tahara Station on March 8, 1927, and was greeted
by many children and townspeople. Afterwards, the doll was displayed
every year with Japanese hina dolls at the Doll Festival
(Hina Matsuri) in March. The doll also joined in fun school
events such as children's music concerts.
1927 Photo of
Likewise, 58 Japanese dolls were sent to America from Japan
as "Dolls of Gratitude" (Torei Ningyo). This was accomplished
by the girls of those days giving one sen (half cent) each.
The doll sent from Aichi Prefecture was named "Miss
Aichi." A doll named "Miyako,"
made in much the same way as the original Torei Ningyo, is
kept at Tahara Chubu Elementary School.
However, afterwards, relations between Japan and America
unfortunately grew worse. The Blue-eyed Dolls, considered to be
dolls of the enemy, were destroyed by discarding them, burning them,
and stabbing them with bamboo spears.
At Tahara Chubu Elementary, Principal Seizaburo Murase
had the brave attitude that "we must not throw away such a
valuable doll as this," and they say he put the doll in a place
where no human eyes would see it.
words written on lid of box
where Marshall Central
An era of peace arrived. After about 30 years had passed, Marshall Central was
discovered in the same condition as before in the basement of the
old auditorium. Now there are 9
Blue-eyed Dolls altogether that remain in Aichi Prefecture. The
number of their friends have decreased, but since the time they were
given to Japan they continue to tell us about the spirit of
Welcome Ceremony for Marshall Central
Mikawa Tahara Station
This is an English translation of a
Article and photos provided by Tahara Chubu Elementary
No date is on the article, but it was written in about 1997 based on
the reference in the article to the Blue-eyed Dolls being sent about 70 years
ago (in 1927).
Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - Individual
Visit to Tahara Chubu Elementary School