Tojin Okichi Doll

Tojin Okichi Doll
Ca. 1943–1944
Recycled kimono fabric
Gift of Lee Ann Snyder and Roderick Meserve

From 1943-1944 the Meserve family worked for the Pacific Fruit and Produce Company delivering fruit and vegetables to the Tule Lake Incarceration Camp located 43 miles south of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Lee Ann and Roderick Merserve would often accompany their father on his deliveries. They made friends with Japanese American children in camp and would often be found off in a corner playing chess and checkers. Their father did many favors for the Japanese Americans and would save them the best fruits and vegetables. In appreciation for his kindness he was given a Japanese doll made in camp. The family treasured the doll for seventy years, carrying it with them on many moves throughout the west. In 2018 the doll was generously donated to the Japanese American Museum of Oregon.