From all over this country the dolls came, from every state, from churches, from schools, from Girl Scouts and Girl Reserves, from those who are mothers at heart but have no children and from grandmothers who never forget their childhood. In January, 1927, almost 13,000 sailed from the Land of Stars to the Land of Sun--not just dolls you know, not just playthings, but messengers of goodwill carrying their friendship letters to the children of a neighbor country. It was a royal welcome they had and on March 3rd they sat in places of honor and shared in that great festival day of Japan.
Forty-nine special dolls lived for a week in the palace of the Emperor and were admired and loved by the royal princesses. When they left, the Empress mother had built for them a home, two stories high and large enough to house that big family of 49. If you go to Japan, you will see them in the Imperial Education Museum in Tokyo.
Letters and gifts poured back, but that was not enough for Japan to do and so to the Land of Stars has come this royal group of fifty-eight.
The boat stopped for four hours at Honolulu on the way and Miss Japan, the most beautiful of them all, was taken ashore by Mr. Sekiya, the special envoy from the Department of Education, who has travelled with the dolls to this country. 5000 children with their parents saw her and all her beautiful furniture and clothes at the Museum.
Thousands more gave them greeting in San Francisco at a reception presided over by the mayor. They went to Oakland, to Los Angeles and to that beautiful Riverside Inn in California. They wanted to see everything, for the children in Japan had told them that there were wonderful things to look at in America.
Then they went on to Chicago, where for four days they were looked at and feasted. They were such modest, well mannered Ambassadors, and their heads were not a bit turned by all the compliments they received.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad extended the courtesy of their road to these beautiful guests and carried them to Washington. They were delighted to be at the Nation's capital, and felt perfectly at home when they were taken to the home of Baron Matsudaira, the Japanese Ambassador.
From there they went to the National Theatre where a great reception was given them. The footlights of the stage were turned on them, bringing out all the beauty and richness of their exquisite kimonos.
Little Miss Matsudaira, daughter of the Ambassador, dressed in the costume of her country, presented these Ambassadors of Goodwill to the children of America, and little Jane Davis, daughter of the Secretary of Labor, received them and thanked the millions of Japanese children who sent them.
How hard the Committee of Washington women under the fine leadership of Mrs. Goodpasture worked to make this a happy day for "the Joys," as they were called in Japan. Our own editor of EVERYLAND presided in her lovely gracious way and introduced the different speakers to the big audience.
How helpful and courteous the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts were as they received the Japanese Ambassador and ushered the people to their seats. One sounded the bugle, another presented the American flag and the great audience rose and sang the Star Spangled Banner.
The son of the Counselor of the Japanese legation presented the Japanese colors and again the audience rose and sang "Kimigayo," the national anthem of that country.
Baron Matsudaira said he was delighted to welcome the Doll Ambassadors because he felt that he would have 58 fellow ambassadors to assist him.
"These dolls," he said, "are silent; they do not talk, but sometimes silence is more eloquent than speech. When one's heart is filled with emotion, one often loses speech. So these dolls silently tell you of the friendly feeling which the children of Japan have for the children of America."
Mrs. Peabody in answering the Ambassador said: "A hundred years from now, when wars have ceased and nations live together as friends and brothers, our children and grandchildren will look back to this day when the children of our two nations sealed a bond of friendship through the gifts which have come to us from your little children."
The Secretary of Labor, Mr. Davis, said: "Where Lindbergh inspires with his boldness, these dolls are kindly, touching and filled with good humor as well as good will."
Mrs. Emrich told the story of the sending of the American messengers of good will and Mr. Sekiya, the envoy from the Department of Education, who came with the dolls, told of receiving them. Dr. Tigert, the United States Commissioner of Education, spoke of the long history of culture and love of beauty that Japan has. "She has given much to young America," he said.
How much you would have enjoyed it if you had been there! In the boxes you would have seen Mrs. Woodrow Wilson; Mrs. Taft with her grandchildren; Mrs. Hoover and Mrs. Wilbur; Madame Sze, the wife of the Chinese Ambassador; Madame Matsudaira with her lovely children; Mrs. James J. Davis, with her children, all watching to see that little Jane did not forget her speech. There were others whose names are known all over the country, for America was honored in receiving these guests from Japan.
Motion pictures showed the dolls arriving in Japan and the school children coming to see them.
After a quick journey to New York, "the Joys" and their envoy were received at City Hall by Mayor Walker, where all important personages are welcomed. The Mayor was happy he said "at this expression of the good will that ought to prevail all over the world." He said that this gesture was conclusive that the Japanese were carefully training their children in the feeling of friendship and that the pennies of the Japanese children that sent over the dolls would make a friendship that was bound to endure.
We hope all EVERYLAND readers will see these beautiful friendly guests.
And in this happy way our friendly greetings that we sent to Japan have come back to us. Back and forth in the years to come will the love and understanding go for it is true indeed that "our hearts are as their hearts."
Miss Matsudaira presented Miss Nippon to little Miss Jane Davis with the following speech in perfect English.
"I am glad to present to the children of America, in the name of Japanese children, fifty-eight dolls. Last Spring the American children sent many lovely dolls to Japan. They brought your good will and friendship. Our little girls were very happy to receive these gifts and are having a good time with them.
"Japanese children are very anxious to be your friends and these fifty-eight dolls have come here to bring this wish from two million and a half children in my country.
"We hope that you will like these messengers of friendship, and that they will be received into your homes as beloved members of your families."
Jane accepted the lovely doll from Japanese children thanking them for this gift of friendship.
With Our Heart as Your Own Heart
When the fifty-eight Ambassadors of Goodwill left Japan a beautiful scene that will be long remembered took place. As the Tenyo Maru, the boat on which the dolls sailed, left Yokohama Harbor thousands of children were singing a farewell song to them. Long streamers of brightly colored paper stretched from the hands of the children to the steamer and as the boat sailed away the paper ribbons were drawn tighter and tighter and finally snapped in two. The loose ends floated in the air over the waters.
The song that the children sang as they watched the boat with its precious cargo sail away towards America was written especially for the occasion by one of Japan's well known poets. This is a translation of the song:
Page | 1927 Doll Exchange | Japanese
Friendship Dolls | American Blue-eyed Dolls