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Japanese Friendship Dolls
Current Locations

Japan sent 58 Friendship Dolls to the US in 1927, but only 46 have been located after much searching during the last 20 years.  The 38 dolls in public museums or other public institutions are listed below.  Some dolls are not on permanent display to the public, so please contact the museum beforehand if you want to see a doll.

Known sources of information included in listing: Michiko Takaoka, Shibusawa Memorial Museum, Rosie Skiles, Judy Shoaf, Dolls of Friendship (1929).

Please click on the doll's photo or name for additional information.

State

Name

Location

Alabama   Miss Iwate   Birmingham Public Library
Arkansas   Miss Kyoto-shi   Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock
3/25/10 article on plans for museum to give away doll

Arizona   Miss Kagoshima   Phoenix Museum of History
California   Miss Taiwan   Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Connecticut   Miss Chosen   The Children's Museum, West Hartford
Colorado   Miss Yokohama   Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys
Washington, DC   Miss Japan   Smithsonian Institution
Delaware   Miss Nagano   Historical Society of Delaware, Wilmington
Georgia   Miss Nagoya   Atlanta History Center
Idaho   Miss Nara   Idaho Historical Museum, Boise
Indiana   Miss Shimane   The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Iowa   Miss Hokkaido   Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science, Davenport
Kansas   Miss Miyagi   Private Owner
Kentucky   Miss Toyama   The Speed Art Museum, Louisville

Maine   Miss Yamagata   Maine State Museum, Augusta

Maryland   Miss Hiroshima   Baltimore Museum of Art
Massachusetts   Miss Aomori   Private Owner
Massachusetts   Miss Kyoto-fu   The Children's Museum, Boston

Massachusetts   Miss Oita   Springfield Science Museum
Michigan   Miss Akita   The Children's Museum, Detroit
Missouri   Miss Fukushima   Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City
Missouri   Miss Shizuoka   Kansas City Museum
Missouri   Miss Hyogo   St. Joseph Museum
Montana   Miss Ishikawa   Montana Historical Society, Helena
Nebraska   Miss Mie   University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Department of Anthropology
Nevada   Miss Wakayama   Nevada Historical Society, Reno

New Jersey   Miss Osaka-shi   Newark Museum
New Mexico   Miss Yamaguchi   Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe 

New York   Miss Nagasaki   Rochester Museum & Science Center
North Carolina   Miss Kagawa   North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences,  Raleigh

North Dakota   Miss Okayama   North Dakota State University, Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design Department, Fargo 
Ohio   Miss Okinawa   Cincinnati Art Museum
Ohio   Miss Gifu   The Cleveland Museum of Art
Ohio   Miss Osaka-fu   Ohio Historical Society, Columbus 

Oregon   Miss Fukuoka   University of Oregon Museum of Art

Pennsylvania   Miss Kochi   Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh
South Carolina   Miss Saitama   The Charleston Museum 
South Dakota   Miss Tottori   Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, Pierre
  Washington   Miss Kantoshu   Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, Bellevue 
Washington   Miss Tokushima   Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane 
Wisconsin   Miss Ibaraki   Milwaukee Public Museum
Wyoming   Miss Yamanashi   Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne

Several Japanese Friendship Dolls are now in private collections such as Miss Miyagi and Miss Fukushima.

In 1969, Hurricane Camille destroyed Miss Ehime, located in Gulfport, Mississippi.  In 1988, the school children of Ehime Prefecture collected money and sent a doll to replace the one that had been lost. However, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the new doll in 2005.

As a general rule, the Committee on World Friendship Among Children decided in 1928 that one Japanese doll ambassador would be located in each of the 48 states in existence at the time.  The following states received more than one doll:

  • 3 dolls each - California, New York, and Ohio

  • 2 dolls each - Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, and Pennsylvania

Most of these states took an especially active part in sending the American dolls to Japan. There is no record that New Mexico and Oklahoma ever received a Japanese Friendship Doll. Miss Japan went to Washington, DC.


Last update: January 15, 2012

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