A friendship doll was on display around 20 years ago at our local children's museum. Now, another doll, Miss Hokkaido, is being restored at the Putnam Museum, Davenport, Iowa. She is Iowa's Japanese Friendship Doll, and is also called Miss Hanako Hokai Masaru Aoki, who is affiliated with the Yashitoku Doll Company, Tokyo, has been in the area to restore the 32" doll. In 1927, the US sent over 12,000 dolls to Japanese children, and 58 Friendship Dolls were sent in return, according to the Quad-City Times. Festival, usually celebrated March 3d. Miss Hokkaido has her own passport, date October 1927. For more on these dolls and on Japanese dolls, see my article on Japanese dolls in Antique Doll Collector Magazine, as well as works by Lea Baten and others.
From Caroline Johnson, our friend, and current guest blogger: I’m sharing this Doll story that may be of interest to you & that you may like to share.
I try to go to the MN Doll Jamboree every year, as a Doll collector it’s my highlight to go. The Jamboree selects a cause to contribute to each year. Last year it was to help to restore Miss Miyazaki, which is a Friendship Doll from Japan.
Here’s the story:
After WWI a retired missionary to Japan came home to California & was appalled to fine immense discrimination against Japan. Many Japanese had immigrated to California & we’re taking up jobs & buying property. The missionary was saddened to think how American children were being taught about Japanese people, so he had children here send toy dolls to children there. Japan was so touched that they had Japanese Doll artists make 55 dolls made as a gift of friendship to show their culture. These dolls were 3’ tall. There were parades all around the US featuring these dolls. One was given to each state. Then WWII happened. The dolls took backstage some were donated , some were even thrown out. 33 of these dolls have been found, some in great disrepair. Minnesota’s Miss Miyazaki was found in the basement of the Hibbing library. She has been restored & is making her debut at the history center. Thought you may like to know😜