Mukogawa Women's University
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Japan-U.S. Friendship Doll Campain

image photoThe 1927 friendship doll exchange was initiated by Dr. Sidney L. Gulick to ease tension between Japan and the U. S., and for international mutual understanding through a doll exchange with Japanese children. With 2.7 million Americans' support, 12,739 American dolls (Blue-Eyed Dolls) were sent to Japanese schools in the time for the 1927 doll festival in March. In return, with nation-wide donations of Japanese school children, 58 custom-made, oversized dolls (Torei-Dolls) were shipped out to reach America by Christmas, 1927.

image photoRenewed interest in the 1927 "Doll Plan" encouraged Mukogawa Gakuin in 1993 to coordinate a similar venture of good will: the "Japan - U. S. Friendship Doll Campaign". Japanese friendship dolls that are donated, made, and bought, with funds raised by Japanese citizens, are sent to the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute (MFWI) in Spokane, Washington U. S. A. At the Hina Festival or Doll Festival at MFWI on March 3rd every year, the dolls are introduced and presented to schools and other organizations to encourage their study of Japan and world cultures.
Thus far, a total of 1,658 sets of dolls have been sent to elementary schools and educational facilities in various places in the U.S. (as of November 2015). The dolls presented from the U.S. in return are gifts to elementary schools and kindergartens mainly in Hyogo prefecture.

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