Dolls sent to France with prayer for peace

by Hidetoshi Arioka, Staff Writer

With an appeal for peace, dolls made by Emiko Nishii, 62, a craftsperson and dancer living in Hiroshima, will be taken to France, one of the nuclear-weapons states, on October 13. The dolls represent a mother and daughter, facing each other with paper cranes in their hands, and will be exhibited at a cultural facility and other locations in Paris.

On October 1, at her studio dubbed “Kaya no Ie” (“House of Mosquito Nets”), Ms. Nishii handed the dolls, along with an original poem, to Yoko Kanbe, 39, a business owner who regularly travels to France on business.

The dolls, made of old mosquito netting, are 22cm high and are modeled on a mother and daughter whom Ms. Nishii met on August 6 of this year, when she performed a dance in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park. The dance was dedicated to Ms. Nishii’s mother, who was an A-bomb survivor and passed away five years ago.

Ms. Kanbe, who has been helping Ms. Nishii maintain a blog, learned about Ms. Nishii’s performance in front of the Cenotaph and suggested creating the dolls. With the help of Japanese nationals and others in Paris, the dolls will be displayed to the people there. Information on the dolls as they are exhibited in France will be posted on Ms. Nishii’s blog (http://kayanoie.exblog.jp).

Ms. Nishii commented, “I made these dolls with the wish for a peaceful world for children. I hope that the dolls inspire the French people to think about peace.”

(Originally published on October 2, 2008)