Peace Museum Original Animation Movie

In 1995, we reached the 50-year anniversary of the end of World War II. On this occasion, as we remember once again the tragedy of war and make a fresh resolve for lasting peace, we in Saitama prefecture decided to carry out some suitable commemoration projects to move toward the realization of peace in the world and in our tranquil home Saitama. The making of this original animation movie "The Story of the Blue-eyed Doll" is one of these.

Blue-eyed Dolls

In the midst of deteriorating Japan-US relations, pro-Japanese missionary Dr. Sidney Lewis Gulick and Eiichi Shibusawa became leaders in planning for an exchange of mutual friendship through dolls.  The Blue-eyed Dolls were given to Japan to try to deepen the understanding and friendship between the citizens of both countries, and they were "Friendship Ambassadors of Peace" from America who embodied the feelings of goodwill of the American people.

However, when World War II started, throughout the country there were many who suffered the sad fate of being burned or destroyed as enemy dolls.

This movie, set in the harsh environment of wartime, depicts a warped society caused by war, shows the common people's suffering, and presents the tragedy of war and the preciousness of peace through children's actions and through the Blue-eyed Dolls regarded as the enemy.

Outline of Story

One day in 1929, an old man was riding in a car going through the center of the city.  This person was Eiichi Shibusawa, a Saitama Prefecture native who worked for modern Japan's industrial development and international friendship. 

Eiichi, while seeing the military forming ranks and marching, took a photo from his pocket. "Gulick, Japan appears to be entering bad times," he said in a low voice.

Gulick was the person who offered to Japan to give "Blue-eyed Dolls" to try to maintain the bonds between Japan and America as the situation was growing worse.

Eiichi murmured to Gulick in the photo, "It would be nice if dolls might stop us from entering these cruel times, but . . ."

In 1937, war broke out between Japan and China, and Japan went headlong into an all-out war with China.

Also, with the total militarism in 1943, a dark shadow was gathering over the children at Osawa National School in Koshigaya in Saitama prefecture.

Next to the teachers' room at one end of the schoolhouse, there was a small room. 

Today, the new woman teacher, Yoshie Tanaka, was grading the children's papers there. 

Next to her, her students Chika Watera and her friend Kota Saito were playing.

Chika found and opened up a small box.

"Oh, cute!"

It was a Blue-eyed Doll that had been given by America when Mrs. Tanaka was a sixth-grade student.

Chika knew that the doll's name Martha was similar to her own name, and she liked her more and more.

With tears in her eyes, Mrs. Tanaka talked about the situations in which the doll had been placed from those days until now, and she said, "Even the doll is miserable in times like these." But she made them promise not to say anything to others about these things.

The war situation grew worse day by day, and it reached the point where children used wooden swords to strike straw dolls with drawings of the faces of Churchill and Roosevelt attached to them, and they received training to fight with bamboo spears.

One day Chika secretly invited her classmate Tamae, who had  lost her parents and had been evacuated from the city, and showed her the Blue-eyed Doll in the small room. However, they were discovered by the vice-principal, and the existence of the Blue-eyed Doll become known. The school's staff soon called a meeting to discuss the matter.

At the meeting of the school's staff, a highly agitated discussion broke out concerning the previous day's newspaper article entitled "Beat and Destroy the Blue-eyed Dolls."

Yoshie requested, "I want to keep the doll myself until there are directions from the government."

Kota overheard the discussion and told Chika. She thought about Martha being beaten and destroyed. Not able to stay any longer, Chika held the doll close to her and ran away to a nearby train station.

??But Chika met a military policeman on the way to the train station.

The military policeman said, "Everything from the enemy must be destroyed," and he took away the doll.  

Rain began to fall.  The raindrops hit the doll's face, and it looked like both Martha and Chika were crying.

Kota and Yoshie, who had been searching for Chika, came running up.  Mrs. Tanaka, while apologizing to the military policeman, explained desperately, "I was told by the school that I have responsibility for that doll and must take care of her. Therefore, please pass the doll, doll to me."

Upon hearing this, the military policeman let go of the doll without saying anything and went away.

Chika asked while crying, "Why can't I be friends with a Blue-eyed Doll when there is a war?"

Japanese web page for this translation.

Return to Friendship Doll Films

Main Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls
Mass Media / Books / Films | Letters
Other Friendship Doll Programs | Teachers' Corner
Links | Recent Changes | Acknowledgements | Children's Page