Sunday, July 13, 2014

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.

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