Miss Mie continues friendships

Oct 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Arts & Entertainment, October 9, 2008
Miss Mie
Miss Mie

Dignitaries from Japan visited Lincoln Sept. 23- 24 to see the Miss Mie Friendship doll now in the University of Nebraska State Museum’s Anthropology collection.

Miss Mie was one of 58 dolls originally given to the children of the United States in 1928 by the children of Japan. The Miss Mie doll, one of these “goodwill ambassadors” with her trunk of elaborate traveling accessories, has been a treasure of the State Museum ever since.

In 2004, for Kawasaki’s 30th Anniversary, the company borrowed Miss Mie for a special exhibit, and in 2005 Miss Mie was on exhibit at the State Museum in honor of the Traditional Japanese day of Hina Matsuri, or doll festival.

Now, on the 80th anniversary of Miss Mie’s arrival in Nebraska, a four-person committee from the Mie Prefecture traveled to Lincoln to see the doll and examine the nearly 150 letters written by Japanese children for the doll exchange in 1928.

This visit was part of a commitment by the Mie delegation to arrange for Nebraska’s historic doll to undergo expert conservation in Japan in 2009, followed by exhibition in 10 cities across the Mie Prefecture. The delegation included Takekazu Takebayashi, the chairman of the Committee for Miss Mie Homecoming and the chairman of Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Tsu City; Sayo Noro, co-chairwoman of the committee and wife of the governor of Mie Prefecture; Hideyuki Takizawa, the secretary-general of the committee; and Kazue Yamane, secretary and photographer of the committee. The committee will attempt to locate the children who wrote the letters in 1928, or their families, and include them in the celebration welcoming Miss Mie home. While in Lincoln, they met with Gov. Dave Heineman; Joe Chapuran, development consultant with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development; and Wendy Birdsall, president of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. The committee plans to use Miss Mie’s visit to Japan as a way to teach children about the history and purpose of the original Friendship Doll Exchange and the art that went into making the dolls. Another goal is to arrange a visit by a group of Japanese citizens in 2010 to introduce them to the museum, the beauty of Nebraska, and its friendly people.

Japanese delegates
MISS MIE DELEGATION – On hand for the meeting with the Miss Mie Prefecture were Hideyuki Takizawa and Kazue Yamane from the committee, UNL vice chancellor Prem Paul, Takekazu Takebayashi and Sayo Noro (Prefecture), and museum director Priscilla Grew.

While the committee members all spoke some English when they arrived, the phrase they left their visit with was “Go Big Red!”

The museum is planning to have Miss Mie on exhibit again in 2010 after her conservation work.

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