Sunday, July 13, 2014

Japanese Friendship Dolls

This is a long posting on the Japanese Friendship dolls and you will have to go to older posts at the bottom of the page and go to the next page to read all of the information on these dolls.  I found them to be a very interesting subject and I hope you do also.

Shirley Temple and Japanese Friendship Dolls

While doing the article on Shirley, I came cross the picture of Shirley and Japanese Friendship dolls.  This aroused my curiosity, so I did some research.  What I discovered was amazing.  What follows is the history of these beautiful dolls and their role as ambassadors of peace and goodwill that has continued for 87 years.

To foster closer relations between Japan and the US,
13,000 "Blue Eyed Dolls"  (their history follows) were sent to Japan by American children in early 1927.  To show their appreciation and to do something special to express their thanks, Eiichi Shibusawa a Japanese businessman and educator organized the collection of money from the children throughout Japan to pay for the making of 58 special dolls to be sent to America.  Each doll was 33 inches tall and was beautifully dressed in Japanese clothing.  Following is the information on these special dolls.

Arrival in America of Japanese Friendship Dolls

Japanese Friendship Dolls on Display in San Francisco
The Friendship Dolls from Japan arrived at San Francisco harbor on November 25, 1927. This photo shows all of the 58 Japanese Torei Ningyo (Dolls of Gratitude) on display at the welcoming ceremony held at Kinmon Gakuen (Golden Gate School) in San Francisco on November 27.

Japanese Friendship Doll, Miss Kagawa and her Accessories

Japanese friendship doll and her accessories as received from the Japanese children to the American children.

                   Miss Kagawa
was sent  to the North Carolina Museum of Natural
Science, Raleigh, NC., where she remains today

Miss Kagawa and her accessories
*  Two pedestal lanterns  with silk shades
*  Silk parasol
*  Fan
*  Straw sandals (zori)
*  Lacquer chest of drawers
*  Lacquer storage chest
*  Lacquer vanity set with mirror and drawers
*  Doll passport (picture follows)
* Steamship ticket
*  Lacquer sewing stand
*  Purse
*  Six panel painted screen for decoration

Included also were two tea sets.  One for daily use and one for the Japanese tea ceremony.  The tea sets included:  porcelain cups, containers for tea, both powdered and loose tea,  woven grass mats to protect the table, and a tea pot for the hot water.


Passport of Japanese Friendship Doll Passport

Each Japanese Friendship Doll carried a passport like the one above.

Japanese Friendship Dolls In America

The dolls were sent on tour for several months before being distributed to museums in many states.
Sadly just fourteen years after the dolls were received Japan and the US were fighting each other in World War 11.  During the war many of the dolls were packed away, sold or lost.
Miss Kagawa at the North Carolina Museum Natural History was turned to face the wall.  A sign was placed next to her.  The sign read:

The Japanese made an insane attack upon the American Territory of Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
With a grim determination we now are committed to stop for all time Japanese aggression. This has no bloodthirsty implications to destroy peoples as such. We still believe in peace and goodwill to live and let live.
Men, women and children of Japan have this goodwill but they have now been dominated by ruthless leaders. Proof of such latent goodwill are the Friendship Doll Exhibits exchanged between children of the United States and Japan during 1926 and 1927 and shown as here in museums in both countries.

American Friendship Dolls

American Blue Eyed Dolls

In 1926, in a time of growing tensions between Japan and the US, Dr Sidney L. Gurlick came up with the idea to have american children send dolls to the children of Japan.
The Committee On World Friendship Among Children organized a campaign to gather dolls and send them to Japan in time to celebrate the Hina Matsuri (there are several articles on Hina Matsuri Doll Festival on Doll College) on March 3, 1927,  Many children and adults took part in the project and 12, 739 dolls were sent to japan as goodwill ambassadors.
Each doll had a name, passport, train and steamship ticket.  Also included was a handwritten letter by the dolls contributor.
When the dolls arrived in Japan, they were enthusiastically received in welcoming ceremonies throughout Japan.  The dolls were sent to kindergarten and elementary schools throughout the country.  The Japanese children loved the dolls very much.
The dolls soon became know as the, "Blue Eyed Dolls" based upon a popular song titled "Blue Eyed Doll" by Ujo Naguchi who wrote many famous childrens songs.  (Not all of the dolls are blue eyed)
Despite this effort to foster peace and understanding war came in 1941.  During the war the Japanese government in 1943 ordered that all of the American "Blue Eyed Dolls" be destroyed since they were considered "enemy dolls".  As a  result many dolls were destroyed by the teachers at the schools in front of the children in many vicious ways such as stabbing the dolls or ripping them apart and stomping on them.  Also many of these dolls were destroyed by American bombs.
Despite the government order and the bombs,, many Japanese school teachers hid the dolls at the risk of being condemned and punished.  About 300 of the original American Blue Eyed Dolls have survived and been  found.  These dolls today are treasured by Japan's people since these represent the survival of the ideal of international peace, goodwill, and understanding despite the efforts to surpress it by militaristic propaganda during World War ll.  The willingness of many brave Japanese teachers and others to risk their lives highlights the ideal of the "Blue Eyed Dolls" as ambassadors sent to Japan in 1927.
Many schools today have web sites that have pictures and references to these dolls.  These dolls today are considered precious objects to help children understand the meaning of peace.
Below is a picture of nine of the dolls that have survived in one school district that originally had 349.

Photos of the 9 Blue-eyed Dolls of Aichi Prefecture

Starting in 1996 with only two Japanese schools with web pages about the dolls, it increased to 35 by the year 2000.   As the internet grows and its use by schools increases so do the "Blue Eyed Doll" pages.
American and Japanese children still receive dolls from their overseas friends.  These dolls delight the children and give them a better understanding of other cultures.  The internet makes it easier to spread this message of goodwill. 

Japanese Friendship Dolls Today

Until the 1980's nothing was known of the fate of the Japanese Friendship Dolls.  In 1984 a mention was made in a magazine article of the Japanese Friendship doll, Miss Japan being in storage in Smithsonian Institution and that the fate of the other dolls was unknown.
Thanks to the dedication of many individuals most of these beautiful dolls have been located.  Fourteen of the dolls are still unaccounted for.
During World War ll, the museums took down the dolls and stored them away since no American wanted to see gifts from an enemy.  In the following years most of the dolls were forgotten, misplaced or sold.  Many people are today tirelessly searching for the remaining dolls.
One doll was presumed lost in 1937 when the Ohio River flooded the museum where Miss Toyama was stored.   In 1992, a museum employee happened to notice a trunk in the museum basement.  Inside the battered and watermarked trunk was Miss Toyama, feet dangling, legs disconnected and covered with 50 year old river muck.  The doll was returned to Japan for restoration and today continues her role as friendship  ambassador.
There are 46 of the 58 dolls now located.  The last doll found was in 2010.  The search continues.....

Friendship Doll Program Continues

Especially in the last 15 years many individuals and groups in American and Japan have become involved in the Friendship Doll Exchanges.
One of these groups is the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute.  Since 1993 this organization has sent over 1000 Japanese dolls to schools in every state.  Renewed interest in the 1927 doll exchange encouraged Mukogawa Woman's University in 1993 to coordinate a similar venture of goodwill, "The Japan - Us Friendship Doll Program".  Japanese dolls are donated and bought with funds raised by Japanese citizens and are sent to Mukogawa Fort Wright (MFWI) in Spokane Washington.
At the Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) on March 3rd of every year the dolls are introduced and presented to schools and other organizations to encourage their study of Japan and world cultures.  Each doll comes with educational materials and a certificate with the donors name.  All states and DC have received doll from this group.
There are individuals involved with the Friendship Doll Program.  Two people in the US are Sidney and Frances Gulick.  Sidney is the grandson of Dr Sidney L. Gulick who was the instigator and coordinator of the original Friendship Doll Program in 1927.  The Gulicks have continued the tradition.
In 1986 the Gulicks attended the opening ceremony of the Yokohama Doll Museum.  While still in Japan they visited an elementary school in Kyoto which was one of the original schools involved in the friendship program and they still had one of the original dolls sent in 1927.  During this visit they presented the school with a new pair of dolls.
Since 1986, the couple has sent approximately ten dolls each year to schools in Japan.  Each doll has traveling clothes, nightgown, handbag, passport. and a letter of introduction.  The couple makes sure the dolls arrive in time for the Hina Matsuri each year.  Many of the dolls go to the same schools that received the original dolls in 1927.  Many of these schools feature these dolls on their internet homepages.
There are many groups in both countries that take part and contribute to the friendship  doll exchanges and the tradition continues.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Some Of My Shirley Temple Dolls. Anyone Interested?

I happened to unpack some of my Shirley Temple dolls.   I am still unpacking from my recent move.  I thought since I had some pictures of Shirley, I would post these pictures of some of my Dolls.  The Shirley in the red and white dress and the Shirley in the yellow dress are by the Ideal Doll Company.  The one in the ruffled dress is a Shirley I made many years ago.  I have several more Shirleys, but I have not unpacked them as yet.  The Ideal Shirley Temple dolls I am going to list on Ebay.  If anyone is interested in them, let me know.