The Ambassador Doll's Homecoming
In 1927, the children of Toyama Prefecture contributed one sen (about a half cent) each and gave to America a Japanese doll that cost about 3.5 million yen (about US$30,000) in today's money. That doll is Miss Toyama, called a Torei Ningyo ("Doll of Gratitude" or Ambassador Doll).
Miss Toyama came to live in Kentucky, but after the war it was thought she had been washed away in a flood. Later it was discovered that she was being kept at Kentucky's J.B. Speed Museum.
However, many decades passed, and there were places where the doll had some damage (photo on left). Therefore, the doll returned home to Toyama in 1995 after 68 years, and repairs were made. At that time she was also dressed with a new kimono. Miss Toyama, now even more a beauty, again made the trip to America as a friendship ambassador of Japan and America (photo on right).
In Toyama Prefecture from March 24 to 26, 1995, an American and Japanese Friendship Doll Exhibit was held at a place in front of where the Toyama Train Station was located in 1927. At this exhibit the six Blue-eyed dolls remaining in Toyama were also lined up with Miss Toyama. More than 4,000 people visited the exhibit, and the event was covered in depth by television, newspapers, and Issue No. 7 of the journal published by the Japan-America Society of Toyama.
Toyama waiting at J.B. Speed Museum
for her homecoming after 68 years
Miss Toyama makes a homecoming
after 68 years and meets the six
remaining Blue-eyed Dolls in Toyama
Miss Toyama Page
| 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese
Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls