Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Friday, May 20, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams, Director of Public Relations    
Birmingham Public Library                                               
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                                        
Miss Iwate, BPL's Japanese Friendship Doll, gets visit from the Japan External Trade Organization
BIRMINGHAM, AL (May 19, 2016)-Miss Iwate, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL)'s Japanese Friendship Doll, received a visit on May 19, 2016, from representatives of her home country. Motoi Hotta, director of the Japan External Trade Organization, and Norikazu Mori, chief executive director of the Japan External Trade Organization, got an up close and personal view of Miss Iwate inside the Linn-Henley Building at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place downtown.
Miss Iwate, who originally came to the Birmingham Public Library in July 1928 as part of a Japan-United States goodwill doll exchange, returned to Japan in September 2015 for a “makeover” carried out by the Yoshitoku Doll Company.  When her restoration was completed, Miss Iwate was on display from Dec. 24, 2015 to March 6, 2016, at the Iwate Prefectural Museum in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. She returned to Birmingham in mid-March 2016, ready to continue her role as ambassador of peace and friendship with renewed enthusiasm.  A “welcome home” celebration was held for her at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival sponsored by the Japan American Society of Alabama at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  

The Birmingham Public Library is very proud of its role as the caretaker of Miss Iwate, said Angela Fisher Hall, director of the 19-branch system.
 “We often share the story of Miss Iwate with visitors to the library who have an interest in our special collections, and many visitors ask for her by name,” Hall said. “Before our city had its wonderful Birmingham Museum of Art, our library was the hub for culture and learning. It’s good to have Miss Iwate here at the library to serve as a goodwill ambassador.”

For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system, with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years, is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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