Kokeshi Dolls

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My items are called Kokeshi dolls. These are small wooden dolls from Japan. My mother and her family gave these to me and told me about them. They are mostly cute little dolls, but the small red one is called the “Ugly Man.” What you do is make two wishes on the doll and when it comes true, you paint in one of the eyes. This is important to me because my grandfather was in the Army and was stationed in Japan for three years in the 1980s. My mother was also born in Germany and had to be naturalised citizen because she wasn’t born on US soil and yet both of my grandparents were US citizens.  When they came home they had brought these dolls with them. This helps connect me to the fact that there are so many families that live across the sea, away from home, to help protect this country. 

Place(s): Germany
Year: 1980

– Olivia Davis

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant