March 3, 2000
Dear American Friends,
My name in Yoko Yagi, and I am from Japan. I came to Spokane, Washington,
to study English and learn about American customs at Mukogawa Fort Wright
Institute. I enjoy living here and getting to know the differences and
similarities between American and Japanese cultures.
I am from Osaka in Osaka Prefecture. Universal Studios Japan is being built
near my house. My parents have a little Chinese restaurant. I am proud of it!
One of Japanese Friendship Dolls sent to Clarksburg
There are many cultural festivals in Japan. One of them is "Girls
Day" (Hina Matsuri), which is always celebrated on March 3. On
that day people wish for family growth and happiness. Homes with young girls
usually display a set of fifteen gorgeous dolls: an emperor and empress doll,
three court ladies, five court musicians, two ministers, and three servants.
These sets include doll furniture and other accessories. Everyone enjoys
special small sweets and other foods on Girls Day.
I have some special memories of Hina Matsuri. When I was born, my
grandfather gave me a beautiful set of Hina dolls. They are one of my favorite
treasures. My mother has often said, "You used to see the dolls and cry
when you were a child because their faces seemed so real." I was
embarrassed at that.
In 1927, America and Japan exchanged dolls as ambassadors of friendship.
Unfortunately, most of the dolls were destroyed during World War II. The
stories of how some of the dolls were protected in America and in Japan are
interesting to me. I hope you will learn about this.
Now, you are receiving some Japanese Friendship Dolls. They carry a message
of peace and friendship. We hope you will enjoy learning about them and about
Please take good care of these dolls and love them dearly. I hope we will