History Timeline

Explore key moments in the history of teaching and learning about Japan at Boston Children’s Museum and about the installation of the Kyo no Machiya inside the Museum.

  • 1913

    Boston’s association with Japan dates back to the age of whaling, clipper ships, and the opening of Japan to the West in the 19th century. Bostonians Edward Sylvester Morse, Ernest Fenollosa, and Isabella Stewart Gardner, among others, traveled to Japan and returned with fine pottery, painted screens, and other art that now resides in museums across the region.

  • 1913

    Among the first gifts to the Museum was a collection of Japanese miniatures from Anna D. Slocum, a Boston woman who worked with schools and museums and traveled throughout Asia.

  • 1914

    The Museum began exhibiting and teaching about Japan immediately.  During February vacation week, the Women’s Education Association organized a joint exhibit with the Children’s Museum and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

  • 1920

    Using the objects from the collection has always been part of the Museum's teaching philosophy.

  • 1920

    Sometimes, teaching cards were made by combining photographs of the collections objects with descriptive information. These were early efforts that later expanded into the loan kits developed by the Museum.

  • 1928

    Miss Kyoto comes to the Museum, one of the 58 Friendship Dolls sent from Japan to American museums and libraries to promote good relations between the countries.

  • 1933

    Miss Kyoto was displayed in her own case in the exhibit hall until World War II broke out.

  • 1965