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Urayasu Friendship Doll Exchange Association

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Urayasu Friendship Doll Exchange Association

Japanese Friendship Dolls soon to travel to the United States


The city of Urayasu in Chiba Prefecture is famous for being the home of Tokyo Disneyland. Urayasu Friendship Doll Exchange Association members make dolls that are carried by Urayasu residents to their recipients in America and Canada. Urayasu is very proud that junior high school students are also involved in making Friendship Dolls. The magazine article "Friendship Doll Mission Into the 21st Century" gives more details about Urayasu's exciting Friendship Doll program.

As of March 2003, the Association has sent 28 friendship dolls to schools mainly in the U.S., and 22 friendship dolls have been received by local schools in the Urayasu area.

The Association used to have a web site in both English and Japanese that includes photos of the dolls that have been exchanged.

Nancy Bale, Librarian at Poulsbo Elementary School in the state of Washington, visited Japan in October 2000. She stayed in Urayasu for about a week. While visiting with Hideki Matsuzaki, Mayor of Urayasu, and Shoko Tsujimura, International Relations Manager for Urayasu, she learned about the history of the 1927 Friendship Doll exchange between Japan and the United States. Moreover, she found out how Urayasu's community members and students work together to keep the tradition of the Friendship Dolls alive. Nancy Bale did have an Internet story of her trip to Japan in "Where Is Ms. Bale?" However, the link is no longer available. Her story included over 200 photos of fascinating aspects of Japanese life, including Japanese students and scenes inside Japanese schools.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Bale

Friendship Visit to Urayasu Friendship Doll Exchange Association

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