Special thanks to Sanbongi Elementary School for permission to publish this web page
Please click to enlarge photos.
This is the "Blue-eyed
Doll" Betty Jane, who came from America 74 years ago.
In 1927, I came to Japan from American together with 12,739 of my close friends. Among this group, 221 of my friends came to Miyagi Prefecture. We came as a friendship bridge so that Japan and America would become better friends. However, in 1941 the Pacific War (World War II) started. Japan and America began a war against each other. Almost all of my companions were thrown away or burned, being things that had come from the enemy America.
I also who had come to Sanbongi Elementary School was to be thrown away in the same way as the other dolls, but one of the teachers, Yoshimasa Wagatsuma, took pity on me and hid me away in a storeroom in his own home. If what he did had been discovered, it would have been terrible for him.
Later, Japan lost the war. The Japanese people worked with all their might to recover from the scars of war. Therefore, both Mr. Wagatsuma and other people had forgotten about me for a long time. I stayed over 40 years in the storeroom at Mr. Wagatsuma's home.
In 1986, I was discovered inside of the storeroom. However, since I had been inside the storeroom for such a long time, my entire body and clothes had become ragged. Therefore, Ms. Mitsuzuka, a doll maker in Furukawa, did repairs on me. My body was made clean and attractive, and my clothes were made new.
In this way I was able to return again to Sanbongi Elementary School. After the war there are only 6 dolls in Miyagi Prefecture that were able to survive in the same way as I did.
I am usually on display in the principal's office, but as Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) draws near, I am put on display with all of the Japanese hina dolls.
I, the "Blue-eyed Doll,"
am hoping that people throughout the world can be good friends and can live
together in peace forever.
I have been at Sanbongi from 74 years ago, so it is possible I may have met your grandfathers and grandmothers. When you return home, please try to tell my story. Perhaps you will be able to hear some stories with enjoyable memories.
Betty Jane Today
|Betty Jane in the Principal's
Now Betty Jane lives quietly inside of the Principal's office.
|Betty Jane Inside the Showcase
She is kept with care inside of the showcase.
Newspaper Articles About the Blue-eyed Dolls
|"Welcome Back 'Blue-eyed Doll'" (Kahoku News)|
|"Blue-eyed Doll Returns to Elementary School" (Kahoku News)|
|"Blue-eyed Doll Awakened From Long Sleep" (My Town Furukawa)|
|"Hope for Peace through the Blue-eyed Dolls"|
|"Blue-eyed Dolls' Story"
Miyagi Co-op Published by Peace Movement Committee
|"Dr. Gulick and the Blue-eyed
Miyagi Co-op Published by Peace Action Committee
Betty Jane's Clothing and Other Items
|Clothes she was wearing when she was discovered|
|Wig from the time she was discovered|
|Change of clothing made after she was discovered|
Books About the Blue-eyed Dolls
by Eiko Takeda
|Story of the Blue-eyed Dolls ~ World Peace through Children|
|Dolls' Love Across the Sea ~ Blue-eyed Dolls and Torei Dolls Returning to Life|
|Grassroots International Exchange
Published by Blue-eyed Doll Goodwill Visit Invitation Committee
Exchange, Part 2
Published by Blue-eyed Doll American Visit Group
|Special Exhibition "Blue-eyed Dolls" ~
in the 1920s as Seen by the Dolls
Story of the Blue-eyed Dolls in Miyagi Prefecture - Information about Betty Jane and the other five dolls that have been found in Miyagi Prefecture.
Friendship Visit to Saigo Elementary School
to American Blue-eyed Dolls - Individual Dolls
Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese
Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls