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The Gift of Dolls

Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 8:00am to 6:30pm

Rochester Museum & Science Center

Students and other members of the Cornell community are invited to take part in a celebration of citizen diplomacy at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. The event, co-organized by anthropology professor and Einaudi Center director Hiro Miyazaki, marks the 90th anniversary of the “Friendship Dolls” project, which involved the exchange of nearly 13,000 dolls between Japanese and American schoolchildren. The exchange was meant to protest restrictive U.S. immigration policies in the 1920s; in recent years, it has inspired citizen-to-citizen activities promoting peace and nuclear nonproliferation. In Rochester, those activities have included cultural exchanges with the people of Nagasaki.

A free bus will leave the Cornell campus at 8 a.m. and return around 6:30 p.m. Lunch money will be provided. Availability is limited; to reserve a seat please contact Jonathan Miller, the Einaudi Center’s associate director for communications, at The deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 22. If you would like to participate in the mural project, bring clothing that can be stained.

You can find out more about the doll exchange and the exhibit at the website of the Rochester Museum & Science Center

8 a.m. Bus departs Cornell

10:30 – 11 a.m. Opening ceremony featuring dignitaries from Nagasaki and Rochester and the grandson of the founder of the doll exchange. The ceremony will officially open a museum exhibit about the dolls and their legacy.

11 – 2 p.m. “Kids Guernica Creation” collaborative art project. College, high school, middle school, and elementary school students are invited to work with artists from Nagasaki to help create a giant mural devoted to peace.

2 – 4 p.m. Symposium featuring Prof. Miyazaki, his son Xavi, a Japanese historian of toys, and others from Rochester and Japan.

6:30 p.m. Bus arrives at Cornell

This event is part of the Einaudi Center's Citizen Diplomacy project. It is supported by funds from the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs as part of its strategic priority to promote global-at-home learning. Partners include the Nagasaki Friendship Doll Association, the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, Otsuma Women’s University in Tokyo, the City of Rochester, the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and the Rochester Central Library.

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Event Type

Ceremony/Observance, Cultural, Special Event


Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Global Cornell


Global Cornell, cashum




Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Jonathan Miller

Open To

the Cornell community

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