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The "Blue-Eyed" Dolls

In 1927, the Committee on World Friendship Among Children sponsored a project designed to encourage and nourish the growth of understanding, friendship, and goodwill among the children of Japan and America. A total of 12,739 "mama" dolls were sent from the children of America to those in Japan, in time for the tradional Doll Festival, Hina Matsuri in March. They were received with great ceremony and were distributed to schools throughout the country.

Reception for doll at Asahi Primary School

Reception to Welcome a "Blue-Eyed" Doll
Asahi Primary School,Yamanashiken,Japan.

The impression made by these dolls was great; songs and poems were written about them, and Japanese children felt connected to their brothers and sisters in America through their new doll playmates. They became known as the "Blue-Eyed" Dolls because of this distinctive trait which is not so common in Japan.

Many of the dolls were destroyed in the fervor of World War II, but many were carefully and lovingly preserved and thus managed to continue their mission even through dark times. The remaining dolls now have a revered status and are valued highly.

Drawing of Blue-eyed Doll

Drawing of "Blue-Eyed" Doll
Made by Shizuko Amamiya, 3rd Grade Pupil at Asahi Primary School, Yamanashiken, Japan.

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