88th birthday celebration for historic friendship doll is Dec. 12

Released on 12/03/2015, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine streets

Lincoln, Neb., December 3rd, 2015 —
Miss Mie
Miss Mie
Susan Weller
Susan Weller

On Dec. 12, the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall will celebrate the 88th anniversary of historic Japanese friendship ambassador doll Miss Mie with a birthday celebration from 10 a.m. to noon and special remarks at 11. The event for children and families is included in regular museum admission.

In partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Kawasaki Reading Room and the UNL student organization Global Friends of Japan, the NU State Museum will have Miss Mie and her accessories, including a new peace cap in honor of her birthday, on temporary display in Morrill Hall. Special activities include paper folding art with origami artist Linda Stephen, Japanese calligraphy with the Global Friends of Japan and a paper doll activity to learn more about the traditional dress and accessories of Miss Mie. The birthday celebration will be highlighted at 11 a.m. with refreshments and remarks from Susan Weller, NU State Museum director.

The Miss Mie exhibit will be on display in Morrill Hall from Dec. 4 through Jan. 4, 2016. Visitors are encouraged to add notes to the museum's writing prompt activity "Friendship is …." The notes will be sent to partner institution Mie Prefecture Japan at the close of the exhibit.

Miss Mie has been in the museum's anthropology collections since 1928. The doll first arrived in the United States from Japan in 1927 when 58 friendship dolls were sent to the 48 states as gifts to American children as a gesture of goodwill in exchange for the American Blue Eyed Dolls given to the children of Japan in 1926. Small groups of these "goodwill ambassadors" traveled to 479 cities throughout the country that year. After the tour, some of the dolls found homes in museums and other institutions throughout the United States, including the NU State Museum. In 2009, Miss Mie and her accessories were transported to Mie Prefecture in south-central Japan. Masaru Aoki, expert doll conservator from the historic Yoshitoku Co. in Tokyo, performed much-needed conservation work on the doll. After the repairs, Miss Mie was the center of several events in Japan before returning to the museum's anthropology collection in 2010.

Established in 1871, the University of Nebraska State Museum is the state's premier museum of natural history. The museum is focused on promoting discovery in natural science, fostering scientific understanding and interpretation of the Earth's past, present and future, and enhancing stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Nebraska through world-class exhibits, collections and special events. For more information, go to http://www.museum.unl.edu.

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