June 22, 1998 - Fuchu News Sokuho

Blue-eyed Doll at Kuribu Elementary After 71 Years

Welcoming Ceremony Held for Amanda

    A new Blue-eyed Doll named Amanda was given to Kuribu Elementary School (Akimitsu Seo, Principal; 199 students). Kuribu is the second school in the city to be given a doll, with Fuchu Minami Elementary School being the first. On the 20th, a welcome ceremony was held in which all students and teachers, in addition to some elderly people in the area, participated. At the ceremony members of the Children's Committee and the sixth-grade class explained with slides the fate of the dolls that were at the mercy of the war, "In 1927, because of an appeal by Sidney Gulick, about 13,000 Blue-eyed Dolls were given to Japanese schools as ambassadors for Japanese-American goodwill and friendship, but during the war almost all of them were lost, with some being burned. His grandson, Mr. Gulick, 3d, has been giving new Blue-eyed Dolls as a symbol of new friendship."

    Gosaku Hidetaka (80) and four other elderly people living in the area spoke about the welcome ceremony held when the first-generation doll was given to the school 71 years earlier, "The doll whose eyes closed and who said 'mama' was really cute. Even now I remember her well." All the school children expressed a warm welcome by singing the "Song to Welcome Dolls," which was sung at elementary schools throughout the country in those days.

    Afterward, Amanda, with flax-colored hair, and a passport were handed to representatives of the children by Masako Yamamoto (81), who lives in Shinichi-cho and who is a good friend of Mr. Gulick. At the end of the ceremony, the children ran up to Amanda to hold and touch this cute friendship ambassador. A sixth-grade student, Yoka Mochii, said, "I am very happy. We will take good care of her." This doll is displayed now near the school entrance.

Translation of Japanese web page (link no longer available)
Copyright:  Fuchu News Sokuho / Yomiuri Fuchu
Japanese Page Last Updated by Tetsuo Adachi
Special thanks to Fuchu News Sokuho for permission to publish this web page.

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