The Arkansas Times ran a story in 2010 about the Museum of Discovery's deaccessioning of its trove of artifacts that would no longer fit the mission of the now hard science-focused museum, and a doll, Miss Kyoto-shi, featured in that story. At the time, it was unknown what would happen to the doll.
Now we know. She's returning to the Museum of Discovery, which will welcome her home with a reception from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 16. Saturday, Sept. 15. She returns restored, thanks to the Acadiana Babes Doll Club from Louisiana, which paid for transportation to Japan last year, where the grandson of the original artist lineage did the restoration.
Miss Kyoto-shi was one of 58 dolls friendship dolls given to museums across the U.S. in 1927 by the Japanese in an effort to improve diplomatic relations. Many have been lost and some are now in private hands. The U.S. reciprocated by sending what were called "blue-eyed dolls" to Japan.
The homecoming reception will have special guests: Mayor Mark Stodola, the Hot Springs Village Japanese-American Folk Dancers and Alan Scott Pate, a Japanese doll authority. Pate will give a talk in the Discovery Lecture Room.