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Japanese Friendship Dolls

Miss Hyogo (left) and
Miss Miyagi (right)

The 58 Japanese Friendship Dolls were a gift from Japanese children to American children in response to over 12,000 American Blue-eyed Dolls sent to Japan in early 1927.

The Blue-eyed Dolls were received in Japan with such enthusiasm that about 2.6 million Japanese children contributed one sen (about a half penny) each to have these Japanese Friendship Dolls made for American children.

The Japanese Friendship Dolls, each 33 inches tall, were dressed in gorgeous kimonos of luxurious silk. Each doll came with exquisitely designed accessories, such as tea sets, parasols, and lacquer chests.

Each of the individual dolls has a fascinating history. The current locations of 45 of the 58 dolls have been confirmed, but the search continues to find the missing dolls.

Several current programs carry on the vision of Dr. Gulick to establish friendly relations between Japan and the US. 

Photo used with permission of St. Joseph Museum and Margaret Corbet

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