Miss Nagano: The Japanese Friendship Doll

Miss Nagano: The Japanese Friendship Doll

Meet Miss Nagano, the exquisitely crafted Japanese friendship doll with eyes of glass and skin of oyster shells. Dolls are an essential part of Japanese culture an ancient craft that dates back thousands of years. The Friendship Doll project was initiated in 1927 as an effort to improve relations between America and Japan. American and Japanese children exchanged dolls, like Miss Nagano, in honor of the annual Hinamatsuri (doll) Festival. Nine dolls visited Delaware in 1928 for a three-day stop at the Wilmington Public Library. Delaware Historical Society acquired Miss Nagano in 1928 from Emalea Pusey Warner (1853-1948), a prominent social reformer and leader in the Women’s Movement in Delaware.

“Miss Nagano: The Japanese Friendship Doll” is part of Speaking of Delaware…, a series of short videos presented by the Delaware Historical Society and produced by Short Order Production House. Videos premiere the first Thursday of every month on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and our website. This series is funded in part by the Longwood Foundation, Delmarva Power, an Exelon Company, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and by a grant from Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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