Friendship Passport
Drama about Friendship Dolls at Takasago Kindergarten

Takasago Kindergarten Director tells children
the story of the Friendship Dolls of America and Japan

Friendship Dolls come alive in this play! Miss Hyogo, the Japanese Friendship Doll who came to the U.S. in 1927, returns to Japan 70  years later in 1997. The American Friendship Dolls still remaining in Hyogo Prefecture join Miss Hyogo at an exhibit. When visitors leave, the dolls come to life and discuss their exciting histories.

The play Friendship Passport was first performed by the Kankiza Theater Company on October 5, 2003, at the Kakogawa Public Hall in Hyogo Prefecture. Due to the enthusiastic response to the play, Kankiza will perform the play again on April 4, 2004, at the Takasago City Cultural Hall. The play tells the history of the Friendship Doll exchange between Japan and America in 1927.

Erika and Helen
in Friendship Passport
Two students become interested in the Friendship Doll exchange between Japan and America, so they decide to visit Takasago Kindergarten. Mrs. Shimizu, Kindergarten Director, explains to the two girls the story of Takasago's two original Friendship Dolls, Erika and Helen.

Kyoko Nishimura, a Kakogawa resident, wrote Friendship Passport. She is also the author of the Hello Katie, a booklet published in 2000 to tell the story of Katie, a new American Friendship Doll received in 1997 at Takasago. The play's performance on in October 2003 was broadcast on local television.

Rosemary from Beika Foundation Nursery and Mary from Yamaguchi Kindergarten also come alive at the 1997 exhibition of Friendship Dolls in Hyogo Prefecture. At the end of the play, Erika and Helen leave Japan for six months to take part in an exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Dr. Sidney Gulick, Eiichi Shibusawa, and Michiko Takaoka, three key figures in the history of the Friendship Dolls, also make guest appearances during the play. But of course the kindergarten children are the real stars of this play!

Erika and Helen - Friendship Dolls at Takasago Kindergarten

Special thanks to Kimiko Shimizu,
who provided a video of the play's performance on October 5, 2003

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