Reprinted with permission from
Dolls of Friendship, 2nd Edition,
copyright 1997, Sidney L. Gulick, 3d

Thank-you Letter from Nara Prefecture
"To all the boys and girls in the United States of America"

I am looking at a forest where our village shrine is built. There is a river running below the forest. It is summer, and strong sunshine falls upon them and everything appears tinged with green.

Looking through my windows at this scenery, I am writing this letter of thanks to the girls and boys of America who sent us this beautiful doll.

It was May 20th, I think, the day the azalea in our garden began to bloom, that our teacher introduced us to a blue-eyed doll from America. She has a beautiful dress and hat and very pretty shoes. She has come to live with us, and we are so happy that we feel we are in dreams and we say to each other, "What a warm heart the American boys and girls have."

I learned in my lesson of geography that the Pacific Ocean is the largest in the world, and, think of it, she came across it, but she shows no sign of a hard trip. She says "Mama" and plays with us. We have shown her the Japanese firefly, and the girls, with red bands around their heads, planting rice.

Dear American children, we shall not forget you, even in our dreams. This doll is a messenger of peace. When I saw her and heard her say "Mama" I couldn't help but feel a warm sensation run through my body, and a thought came to me that we children in America and Japan are really brothers and sisters.

We are hoping to send our O Ningyo San (Miss Doll) to you some day, but now we are thanking you for your great kindness.

NOBUE KAGEBAYASHI,                                     
Grade Five, First Primary School, Nara-Ken                       

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