Pathelo (left) and Diane (right)
This doll is one of those 12,739 dolls that came in 1927 as messengers of friendship to Japan from the American Committee on World Friendship Among Children. Among the dolls that were given to schools all around the country, this doll came to Wachi Elementary School. The doll had chestnut-colored hair and wore a splendid dress. She shut her eyes when you laid her down, and she said "mama" when moved her back and forth. The teachers and children gave her a huge welcome, and she quickly became very popular at the school.
However, from 1941, when the Pacific War (World War II) started, conditions changed completely. Many dolls were burned, destroyed, or thrown into the sea. American things, of course the English language and Roman letters, were strictly prohibited. From the very beginning, these Blue-eyed Dolls bore the brunt of these restrictions.
Pathelo was hidden underneath the mineral
specimens in the science room until the end of the war by Mr. Mizutani, a
teacher who was working at Wachi Elementary School at that time. Mr.
Mizutani thought, "Even though war has begun and Japanese-American
relations have become bad, Pathelo has done nothing wrong." Thanks to
this teacher's courageous decision and action, Pathelo was protected.
Currently, in the principal's office of Wachi Elementary School, she
watches over all of the school children.
In 1995, a new doll was given to us as an expression of gratitude by Mr. Gulick, 3d, who is the grandson of the American missionary Mr. Gulick, who gave Pathelo to our school. Her name is Diane. In the same way as Pathelo in the principal's office, Diane is loved by the children.
Special thanks to Wachi Elementary
School for permission to publish this web page.
This is an English translation of a Japanese web page (link no longer available).
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