By Patrice Pendell
Activity Coordinator
The Japanese Cultural Center
Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute
Article from Cultural Center News
March and April 2000

Doll Festival Family

This is my eighth Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), and the feelings of friendship have not diminished. This is most poignant when I open Miss Tokushima's case and see her face, a face that fills my heart with humility, duty and joy.

It was this same sense of honor and joy when we learned that we would host representatives from distant recipient schools again this year. Jeannine Perez from Katherine Gallegos Elementary in Las Lunas, New Mexico, came with Josefina, a doll made by the children, complete with turquoise necklace, lace shawl and a hand-made bean cup.

Betty Daniels, from Dewey International Studies School in St. Louis, Missouri, was thrilled to learn origami and prepare activities for students and staff in-service.

Representing Bristol Public Schools, Barbara St. Onge, her daughter Beth St. Onge, a kindergarten teacher, and Sue Springer from Edgewood Elementary came from Bristol, Connecticut. They eagerly gathered materials to build their program and worked on a "culture box." (Article by The Bristol Press about their trip.)

From Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Cheryl Williamson represented Nathaniel Greene Elementary. She brought a basket with a Bunny Baby, a hand-made doll, and a Peter Rabbit storybook to send to Japan.

Our guests arrived on the Thursday before Hina Matsuri and stayed through early Sunday. At a Saturday workshop we shared Japanese folk tales, origami, and cut cherry blossoms. The teachers cooked okonomiyaki, a Japanese-style omelet, and were joined by Lyn Cunningham from Bemiss Elementary, who shared her students' Japanese experiences. The entire experience was an incredible connected feeling.

The Japanese Cultural Center
Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute
4000 W Randolph Road
Spokane, WA 99224

Phone: 509-328-2971
Fax: 509-325-6540

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