Ambassador Dolls
Sent to America

Yokohama's representative, "Hamako"    Kanagawa Prefecture's representative, "Kanako"

As part of the planning, letters were sent to Japan prior to the arrival of the American dolls. These letters said "not to worry about return gifts." However, many requests were heard from schools that received Blue-eyed Dolls and that wanted to send a return gift.

After consideration by the Japanese Committee on World Friendship Among Children, it was decided to give "Dolls of Gratitude," also known as Ambassador Dolls. The American dolls that had been given to Japan were "not simply dolls but messengers that truly had life." The giving of the Ambassador Dolls was in response to the appeal for a beautiful return gift.

On November 19, 1927, the ship named the Tenyo Maru arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii. There the dolls received a huge welcome for about a half a day. On November 25, the Tenyo Maru entered San Francisco Harbor, and there was an enthusiastic welcome by members of local Japanese associations.

In those days, Japanese immigrants faced heightened anti-Japanese sentiment, and they were in a very difficult situation due to the political conflicts between Japan and America. They strongly hoped that anti-Japanese sentiment would lessen through this doll exchange.