Fannie Pio - Blue-eyed Doll
Fannie Pio
When the American Sidney Lewis Gulick (1860-1945, supporter of Japan who made contributions to Japanese religion and education as a missionary for more than 20 years in Japan) returned home to America, he thought about planning a US-Japanese exchange of friendship through children and dolls in Japan, where the traditional event of Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) is held each year. He invited all Americans to participate, and children collected money through bazaars, contributed their allowances, and dressed the dolls with handmade clothes. Over 2.6 million people volunteered for this project that lasted about a year. They arrived in Japan at the end of 1926, together with letters, authentic-looking passports, and messages signed by Dr. Gulick.
Fannie Pio's Original
Dress and Hat
After a grand welcoming ceremony was held in Tokyo, the dolls were distributed throughout Japan. Hokkaido received 643. (The number confirmed to be in existence now is 23.) Fannie Pio came to Sapporo from Montclair, New Jersey.

Afterward, as thanks for the Blue-eyed Dolls, Japanese girls contributed one sen (about a half cent) each, and first-class doll makers in Tokyo and Kyoto were asked to make dolls. They made 58 artistic dolls of the highest quality. The dolls were sent to all the states of America as Torei Ningyo (Dolls of Gratitude).

Clock Tower in Sapporo
In 1989, a "Blue-eyed Dolls American Homecoming Exhibition" was held in Washington, D.C., and other places. Ninety-five dolls from Japan participated, and Fannie Pio from the Sapporo Clock Tower also participated in this gathering.

The doll shown on this page was given in 1927 to Wakaba Kindergarten, a private school. In May 1978, Aki Tsukamoto, who was the kindergarten's director, contributed the doll to the city of Sapporo.

Back to Page on Individual Dolls

Article about finding the doll in 1973 
Letter from Sender of Fannie Pio
Japanese Page on Fannie Pio
Fannie Pio's Passport

This page is an English translation of material provided by Sapporo Clock Tower personnel.
Photos taken on May 20, 2003.

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