Photo Opp: Rare Japanese Friendship Doll Returns to Minnesota from Tokyo

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 25, 2017
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137,
Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148,

Quick facts: 

What: View Minnesota’s only Japanese friendship doll post-restoration and speak with historians and experts
Who: Adam Scher, MNHS senior curator, Alan Scott Pate, U.S. expert on Japanese friendship dolls, and Masaru Aoki, Yoshitoku Doll Company, will be available for media interviews.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m.-noon
Where: Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

Photo Opp: Rare Japanese Friendship Doll Returns to Minnesota from Tokyo

Miss Miyazaki underwent extensive restoration in Tokyo and is the only friendship doll in Minnesota

Updated Nov. 16, 2017: Miss Miyazaki's display in the Gale Family Library has been extended to Nov. 25. 

A rare Japanese friendship doll comes back to St. Paul and the Minnesota Historical Society's collections Tuesday, Oct. 31 after a trip to Tokyo for restoration.

Named Miss Miyazaki, the three-foot tall doll was originally a gift to the Minneapolis Public Library in 1931. The library transferred the doll to MNHS’ collections in 2016. In Tokyo, Miss Miyazaki underwent a comprehensive five-month restoration by the Yoshitoku Doll Company, including repairs to her armature, reaffixment of her face and rehabilitation of her skin.

Miss Miyazaki is one of 58 friendship dolls that Japan bestowed upon the United States as part of a cultural exchange program and the only such doll in Minnesota. Starting in 1927, the United States and Japan exchanged dolls as a way to ease cultural tensions following passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, which prohibited immigrants from Asia to the United States.

On Oct. 31 from 11 a.m.-noon, media are invited to view Miss Mizayaki and speak with MNHS senior curator Adam Scher, Alan Scott Pate, a U.S. expert on Japanese friendship dolls, and Masaru Aoki of the Yoshitoku Doll Company.

Miss Miyazaki will also be on display in the Gale Family Library lobby Nov. 2-25 along with doll accessories that accompanied her, including ornately decorated furnishings and a Japanese tea service. The exhibit is free and open during library hours.

Minnesota Historical Society

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