The Blue-eyed Doll

The story of The Blue-eyed Doll was performed originally in Japanese as a kamishibai, a special type of Japanese storytelling by picture cards. The text of the story is printed on the back of large, colorfully-illustrated cards, and a kamishibai reader tells the story to groups of children gathered around a small stage.

The kamishibai storytellers were very popular in Japan from the 1920s to the 1950s, when TV started to compete with them. The kamishibai performer would ride a bicycle to a neighborhood and then set up the stage on the back of the bicycle. Prior to the story, the children would buy candy from the storyteller. Even today, young children enjoy listening to dramatic readings of kamishibai stories.

The story of The Blue-eyed Doll was created for the May 2003 homecoming of Miss Miyagi, a Japanese Friendship Doll sent to America in 1927. Miss Miyagi joined the eight American Friendship Dolls in Miyagi Prefecture for a five-day exhibition at the Sendai City Museum of History and Folklore.

Tomomi Shoji wrote the story and created the beautiful pictures in this story about an American doll at a Japanese school during World War II. The Miyagi Blue-eyed Doll Study Group produced the story and sponsored the readings of the story at the May 2003 exhibition of Friendship Dolls in Sendai City.

Start Story

Story and Pictures: Tomomi Shoji
Production: Miyagi Blue-eyed Doll Study Group

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