Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 28 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts    H4'ed 12/24/17

How Citizen Peace Ambassador Gifts Transcended Time & Space

By       (Page 4 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     (# of views)   4 comments, 6 series
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Meryl Ann Butler
Become a Fan
  (83 fans)

Miss Ibaraki
Miss Ibaraki
(Image by Alan Scott Pate)
  Details   DMCA

The Japanese and "Blue-eyed" Friendship Dolls are genuine ambassadors of peace. They have transcended politics and outlasted wars. Even though some of them are missing, the heart-to-heart acts of friendship they inspired cannot be lost or destroyed--these memories are always a part of us, and the feelings of comaraderie and connection cascade into the hearts of following generations.

Alan Scott Pate is the leading authority outside of Japan on antique Japanese dolls. He is author of the 560-page, Art as Ambassador: The Japanese Friendship Dolls of 1927. With nearly 400 photos, it is the definitive publication on the history and art of the 1927 exchange of dolls between the US and Japan. Most of the photos in this article are from his book.

L-R: Alan Scott Pate, Miss Miyazaki and Aoki Masaru, who is largely responsible for coordinating the conservation of the Friendship Dolls when they return to Japan.
L-R: Alan Scott Pate, Miss Miyazaki and Aoki Masaru, who is largely responsible for coordinating the conservation of the Friendship Dolls when they return to Japan.
(Image by courtesy Alan Scott Pate)
  Details   DMCA

Meryl Ann Butler: Thanks for visiting with us, Alan, and for sharing images from your stunning book. How did you get interested in the project?

'Art as Ambassador: The Japanese Friendship Dolls of 1927' by Alan Scott Pate
'Art as Ambassador: The Japanese Friendship Dolls of 1927' by Alan Scott Pate
(Image by courtesy Alan Scott Pate)
  Details   DMCA

Alan Scott Pate: I've been focused on antique Japanese dolls since 1993. My interest was initially in early dolls from the 18th-19th centuries. And while I had certainly heard of the Friendship Dolls, I considered them too modern to be of interest.

However, in 2002 I was given the opportunity to acquire Miss Fukushima from a private collector. I took her back to Japan for conservation and to facilitate a homecoming for this doll for the people of Fukushima Prefecture.

At first I considered it a simple business transaction. What I was entirely unprepared for was the mountains of letters I received thanking me for bringing Miss Fukushima home. This included photographs and letters from women who remembered the original farewell party held for Miss Fukushima in October of 1927!

I got goose bumps reading the letters and seeing photos of quite elderly women crying at the sight of Miss Fukushima, or holding up old newspaper clippings of the 1927 event that they had saved all of their lives! It suddenly hit me that this was more than a doll, and it was certainly more than a simple business transaction.

This story of the doll exchanges, though nearly 80 years old at that time, was still a living thing. Miss Fukushima was not a relic from a by-gone day, she was still immensely relevant. So I do what I always do when I get interested in something. I research! And I found that only one book had ever been published on the Friendship Doll exchange, and that was in 1929 when the story was still unfolding.

So I assigned myself the task of visiting every known doll, photographing them and documenting their journey, doing archival digs in museums, libraries and historical societies from one end of the country to the other. I assigned myself two years for the project--it took ten!

Along the way three more dolls were brought to light: Miss Gunma, Miss Nagano/Aichi, and Miss Miyazaki.

And I was able to help facilitate their returns to Japan for conservation and Homecoming ceremonies, rekindling the links between communities in Japan and individuals here in the United Sates. So even now that the book is done, I realize that my work with the Friendship Dolls is just beginning.

MAB: Well you're off to quite a "beginning," Alan, thanks for visiting with us and please keep us updated.

'Art as Ambassador: The Japanese Friendship Dolls of 1927' by Alan Scott Pate
'Art as Ambassador: The Japanese Friendship Dolls of 1927' by Alan Scott Pate
(Image by courtesy Alan Scott Pate)
  Details   DMCA

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

 

Touching 3   Inspiring 3   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Meryl Ann Butler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Other Series: View All 13 Articles in "Peace & Nonviolence"

Other Series: View All 18 Articles in "Quilting and Fiber Arts"

Other Series: View All 8 Articles in "Solutions Activism"

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Bizarre Theft of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski's Miracle Cancer Cure

Mysterious Bayou Sinkhole Continues to Cave In: Radiation, Hydrocarbons Detected

Relentless Bayou Corne Sinkhole Nearly 30 Times Original Size (UPDATED with Cave-In Video)

Sex, Love, and Jesus: A Few Surprises in the Easter Basket

2012: Armageddon or Quantum Leap? Gregg Braden's Answer-Fractal Time

California Fire Update: Station Fire 1:30 pm, Pacific Time 8-28-09