Friendship Dolls: Japan and America in the 1920s

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Friday, March 2, 2012 - Saturday, June 9, 2012

In the 1920s, during a time of growing tensions between the U.S. and Japan, an American educator and missionary was moved by an idea: to promote peace between the two countries by working through their children. The response to his idea was enormous, resulting in a campaign that sent a gift of 12,739 Friendship Dolls from American children in celebration of the Japanese Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) in 1927. The Japanese children responded in kind by sending 58 ornate highly crafted dolls of their own to the U.S. Today, this exhibit seeks to reunite these "Friendship Dolls" from both countries, reminding us of the power of a single idea—and the spirit of children—to act as an instrument of peace and goodwill.

Image of Miss Osaka and Her Little Brother (1927) is courtesy of the Newark Museum.

Exhibition sponsored in part by