Blue-eyed Dolls


Name: Francetta
Hometown: Indianapolis
Passport Number: 12565
Height: 36 cm
Weight: 630 g
Clothing: Jacket and pants with red and white checkered pattern
hat made of same cloth
shoes and socks

(currently at Tawarazu Elementary School)


Lyrics: Ujo Noguchi
Music: Nagayo Motoori

A blue-eyed doll,
Made of celluloid,
Was born in America.
When she arrived at a harbor in Japan,
She had many tears in her eyes.
I do not understand the language.
If I get lost, what should I do?
Warm-hearted Japanese girls,
Please be my friends and play with me.

In 1921, Ujo Noguchi published the children's song, "Blue-eyed Doll," in the magazine Kin no Fune (Golden Ship). The song begins: "A blue-eyed doll, made of celluloid, was born in America." Nagayo Motoori added music to the song. Even today it is a song known and sung by many people.

In 1927, 12,739 Blue-eyed Dolls were given by America to elementary schools and kindergartens in Japan with the hope of establishing friendships between Japanese and American children. ( Among these dolls, 214 came to Ehime Prefecture.) These Blue-eyed Dolls were loved dearly as treasures of the children of that time. They sent to America a doll called "Hideko Yamato" as a messenger doll to show their gratitude. However, times changed, and war broke out between Japan and America (December 8, 1941)! There were orders given to destroy the dolls since they were considered to be "hated enemies and American spies." Now the children have become grandfathers and grandmothers, but when they think about those times, they say "Our hearts are filled with sadness!" about what happened then. Dolls that had done nothing wrong were considered spies. Groups of children were even forced to carry out the destruction of dolls, and in those times they had to do it with enthusiasm . . . war is quite horrible.

All of the Blue-eyed Dolls were supposed to have been disposed of, but in fact they were protected secretly by a few kind people, and the dolls survived by being hidden away in corners of closets and storerooms. Five of these dolls are in Ehime Prefecture, and three remain in Akehama Town.



 
Name: Norma
Hometown: Ohio
Passport Number: 7780
Height: 33 cm
Weight: 460 g
Clothing: White silk dress and hat.
Shoes and socks

(Currently at Tawarazu Elementary School)

On March 15, 1973, a person who graduated from Tawarazu Elementary School saw the TV program "Mary, the Doll Envoy" that was shown on NHK's "Spotlight." This individual remembered that these dolls were given to kindergartens and elementary schools, so Tawarazu Elementary School was contacted. When the teachers searched the school, they found Francetta and Norma within a wooden box in a corner of a shelf in the arts and crafts room.


Karie Elementary School's Blue-eyed Doll



Name: Pitty (name given by children)
Height: 36 cm
Clothing: Pants with a light-blue print pattern and suspenders.

She was wearing blue button-clasp shoes on one foot only.

Every year since 1946, Mr. Higuchi, who had served as principal at Karie Elementary School and who now lives in the city of Matsuyama, told the story that there had been a Blue-eyed Doll at the school. When they searched the school, it turned out that she had been laid down on top of a shelf in the arts and crafts room. However, there was no record that this doll was given to the school, and there is no way to find out its name and origin.


This is an English translation of a Japanese web page.

Return to American Blue-eyed Dolls - Individual Dolls


Main Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls
Mass Media / Books / Films | Letters
Other Friendship Doll Programs | Teachers' Corner
Links | Recent Changes |
Acknowledgments | Children's Page