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Letter to the Editor: Kennedy Family’s “hina dolls”

  • 2015-02-13 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: February 12, 2015 – p. 10)


 By Mrs. Teratani, 61-year-old housewife in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward


 I was moved by the news that the person who sent a gift of Japanese hina dolls to former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1962 has been identified. Reportedly, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the former President, now has the hina dolls on display at her official residence in Tokyo.


 The sender of the gift of hina dolls was a 92-year-old woman living in Kitami, Hokkaido. She must have been so elated to hear that the Ambassador wanted to thank her for the gift. The woman sent a letter to Mr. Kennedy, who was around the same age as her and became President at the age of 43. She later received a letter in reply. She was reportedly touched by the sincerity of the President who replied to a letter from a woman in such a faraway country who was a complete stranger to him. She sent the gift of hina dolls in return for the letter from the President. Ambassador Kennedy reportedly used to play with the hina dolls when she was a child. Half a century later, Ambassador Kennedy has finally found the sender of the gift. This made me feel grateful as a Japanese person. There are many difficulties in conducting diplomacy, but this made me think that people-to-people exchanges can lead to mutual understanding and peace.

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