Friendship Doll Programs
Japanese students holding
(1) new doll sent by Sidney and Frances Gulick (left)
(2) Japanese Ichimatsu doll (middle)
(3) American Blue-eyed Doll sent to Japan in 1927 (right)
The exchange of dolls between
America and Japan did not end with the Friendship Dolls exchanged in
1927. Many individuals and groups have been involved in sending new
dolls, especially during the last 15 years.
Three programs have had a very
significant impact on the lives of children in Japan and America:
Fort Wright Institute - Since 1993, this organization has sent over
1,000 Japanese dolls to schools in every state of the US.
Sidney and Frances Gulick
- Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Sidney Gulick, 3d, and his
wife Frances have sent many American dolls to Japanese schools since 1986.
Doll Exchange Association - Inspired by Dr. Gulick's 1927 Friendship Doll Mission,
residents of Urayasu City vow never to repeat war, and they launch a movement to send dolls to children worldwide with the formation of
the Urayasu Friendship Doll Exchange Association. In addition, junior high
school students, as a part of international understanding education, make hand-made dolls, kimonos, and passports; attach letters; and
send the dolls.
Besides these three friendship dolls
programs, many other individuals, schools, and organizations have
also been involved in sending dolls to children in schools in Japan and
America. For example, the former J.A.D.E. (Japanese Asian Doll Enthusiasts)
over a dozen dolls to Japanese schools. They also had several members of
their organization who gave lectures on Japanese culture to schools and
other organizations in the United States.
In 2002, the Japanese American National
Museum sent new Friendship Dolls to the children of Japan as a thank-you
gesture for lending the museum their dolls for a special Friendship Doll
exhibition. Allyson Nakamoto, Head of the Educational Components Department
at the museum, explains about the dolls to be sent:
One of these dolls, Maria, was sent to us
by Dr. Sidney Gulick, 3d, and his wife, Dr. Frances Gulick. Maria and the
six dolls chosen by the National Museum show the diversity of the United
States not only in ethnicity, but also in vocation. For example, we are
sending an African American veterinarian, an Asian American girl, and a
European American soccer player. It is our hope that these dolls capture
the hearts and midst of the Japanese children, just like their 1927