This web page has been created by a
group of alumni who graduated in March 1976 from
Yamagata City Daiichi Elementary School.

Do you know that "Blue-eyed Dolls" are kept at this elementary school?
We tried to gather together some information about these historically valuable dolls.

  Blue-eyed Dolls

Currently they are kept in one classroom used as a doll room.

The Blue-eyed Doll "Mary" and the new Blue-eyed Doll "Eileen" are kept on display. In February, they are displayed with Japanese hina dolls.

  Toward Tomorrow

Statue built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamagata City Daiichi Elementary School.
Statue of girl holding a Blue-eyed Doll in her arms.

  Dolls' History

1927 In response to an appeal by the American Dr. Sidney Gulick, about 12,000 dolls were given as friendship ambassadors to elementary schools throughout Japan in order to deepen the friendship between Japan and America.
Each doll had a change of clothes in a bag, a passport, and a 99-cent steamship ticket.
One of these dolls was received by our school. Her name is Mary, and she wears a green dress.
1943 World War II begins. Due to an anti-American movement, a trend grows of "Blue-eyed Dolls are enemies," and many dolls are destroyed.
Daiichi Elementary School's doll seems to have been preserved by someone hiding it during that time.
 1973 NHK broadcast of "Mary, the Doll Messenger." It was a program about a "Blue-eyed Doll" discovered in 1966 at a school in Gunma Prefecture.
In this year Daiichi Elementary School's doll also was confirmed to exist.
At this time we were enrolled at the school. It's regrettable we have no special memories of the doll at this time.
1989 Making of bronze statue of Blue-eyed Doll and children to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Daiichi Elementary School. Its title is "Toward Tomorrow." It is located in front of the east entrance of the school. (About where the flower garden was when we were in school)
1990 Sidney Gulick, 3d, grandson of the originator, gives a second doll to Daiichi Elementary School.
1991 Mr. Gulick, 3d, and his family visit Japan and Daiichi Elementary School to attend the "Assembly Inviting the Family of Mr. Gulick, 3d to Japan."

She may be nothing more than an "old doll," but when we think that there is a Blue-eyed Doll at this historic school, we are filled with deep emotion. Also, we appreciate our association with this school that has history and tradition.

Currently, the existence of about 250 dolls in Japan have been confirmed. Within Yamagata Prefecture, dolls are kept at 10 schools, and in Yamagata City, there are dolls at three schools, Daiichi Elementary School, Kanai Elementary School, and Zao Daiichi Elementary School.

Special thanks to Yamagata City Daiichi Elementary School Eikoukai (group of alumni who graduated in March 1976) for permission to publish this web page.
This is an English translation of a Japanese web page (link no longer available).

Friendship Visit to Yamagata City Daiichi Elementary School

Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - Individual Dolls

Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - New Dolls

Main Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls
Mass Media / Books / Films | Letters
Other Friendship Doll Programs | Teachers' Corner
Links | Recent Changes |
Acknowledgments | Children's Page