Rev. Dr. Sidney Lewis Gulick (1860-1945) was an educator, author, and missionary who spent much of his life working to promote greater understanding and friendship between Japanese and American cultures. He was ordained a Congregational minister in 1886, and then was a supply minister at the Willoughby Avenue Mission, Brooklyn. In 1888 Gulick travelled to Japan, where he would work as a missionary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for the following twenty-five years. After returning to the United States in 1913, he was dismayed to find growing discrimination and resentment against Japanese Americans. He was instrumental in forming a group called the "Committee on World Friendship Among Children". In 1927, its first project was to organize the sending of American dolls to Japan for Hinamatsuri, an annual doll festival. This project had an overwhelming response from the American public, and altogether, 12,739 of these "American Blue-eyed Dolls" were sent to Japanese schools, each with an accompanying letter professing friendship. The Japanese later sent 58 dolls back to the United States- one for each state, plus more for states with larger populations.