Mary and Betsy Come Together to Suzugamine School

At Suzugamine Girls'
Junior High and High School
      On the 24th (Friday), Betsy, a second-generation "Blue-eyed Doll" that shows new Japanese-American friendship, came to Suzugamine Girls' Junior High and High School (principal, Takeshi Tamagawa) in Nishi-ku in Hiroshima City. Mr. Gulick, 3d, who is the grandson of Mr. Sidney Gulick, the person who gave the first-generation "Blue-eyed Dolls," has followed his grandfather's wishes by giving dolls to Japanese schools for the last ten years. He knew about Suzugamine's Drama Club and Broadcasting Club creating works about the dolls' unfortunate fate, so the doll Betsy was given to the school.
     "Blue-eyed Doll" was well known as a children's song. During the mid 1920s, when relations between Japanese immigrants and Americans began to grow worse, there were 12,000 dolls that American children sent at the urging of the missionary Sidney Gulick. They came to Japan in 1927 each carrying a passport and a $99 steamship ticket.
     Hiroshima Prefecture was given 356 dolls, and they received huge welcomes. However, when World War II started, they were destroyed by burning them and stabbing them with bamboo spears. Besides "Mary" at  Yuda Elementary School in Kannabe-cho, only four dolls now exist.
     On the 24th, Kannabe-cho's Tetsuo Kamikawauchi (age 47), who had introduced Mr. Gulick to his friends at Suzugamine, brought Betsy and Mary with him to Suzugamine School. After viewing "Blue-eyed Dolls," a video production by the high school's Broadcasting Club, the junior high school students listened to a talk by Mr. Kamikawauchi about the fate of the dolls and about the people who protected the dolls that survived.
     The junior high school students gathered around the platform where Mary and Betsy were side by side. While exclaiming "cute!" as they looked at Betsy's change of clothing and her bag (handmade by the wife of Mr. Gulick, 3d), they discussed how "such cute dolls had such a bad time" and the horrified faces of the dolls that were stabbed with bamboo spears in the video.

     During Mr. Gulick, 3d's message to Suzugamine School, he explained that "Blue-eyed Dolls" are called "Friendship Dolls." In Mr. Kamikawauchi's talk, he pointed out that the expression "blue-eyed" is rarely used in America, and only a very few dolls actually have eyes that are colored blue.
     (The High School Drama Club's "Summer of Silence," a play about the Blue-eyed Dolls, will be performed on the 31st (Friday) at 4:30 p.m. at Hatsukaichi Bunka Hall Sakura Pia.)

Article from Nishi-Hiroshima Times, July 31, 1998.
This is an English translation of a Japanese web page (link no longer available).
Published with permission from Nishi-Hiroshima Times.

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