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A Case of Mistaken Identity!

Each of the Ambassador Dolls was provided with a stand, the base of which had a nameplate giving the doll's name in Japanese and English. These bases were the only identification for the doll as her name did not appear anywhere on her body or clothes. During their first two years in America, the dolls travelled extensively all over the country, individually, and in groups. During this process, some of the stands and dolls were inadvertently seperated and mixed up. This meant that in many cases, dolls could no longer be properly identified.

When the Rochester Museum received her doll, she was said to be Miss Fukuoka, and so the ticket and all of the accessories belonging to Miss Fukuoka arrived as well. However, the base was labelled Miss Aomori. Since it was felt that the base should reflect the name of the doll, the items for Miss Fukuoka were returned, and those for Miss Aomori arrived later.

It was not until 1994, when friendship doll researcher Michiko Takaoka, Director of the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute examined Miss Aomori at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, that the doll's true identity was realized. A photograph of Miss Nagasaki before she left Japan had been preserved by a citizen of Nagasaki and it showed the pattern of her kimono very clearly. This pattern matched the one on the kimono of the doll thought to be Miss Aomori. After 65 years, Miss Nagasaki had been found! Ms. Takaoka later found the true Miss Aomori in a private collection.

Nameplate for Miss Aomori

Nameplate on base of Doll at RMSC

Miss Nagsaki before she left Japan

Miss Nagasaki Before She Left Japan

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