Mary Fletcher Smythe (1890-1979) served as a Presbyterian missionary in Japan for over thirty years. She collected both traditional Japanese souvenirs or “omiyage” and objects that illustrated life in Japan for American audiences, carefully labeling her collection for presentation and posterity.
"Old-fashioned shops made from matches," from the Smythe collection.
To educate her American audience about Japanese food, Mary Smythe displayed this plastic model with the caption:
"Fish & seaweed on balls of steamed rice. Rather like potato salad for afternoon.”
Sue Althouse served as a Presbyterian missionary in Japan from 1955 to 1993. She taught for many years at Hokuriku Gakuin in Kanazawa.
Sue brought these bamboo skates back to the United States with her to use in her talks to Sunday School classes about her experiences in Japan. Boys slipped their bare feet into them for ice skating.
During the summer of 1956, Sue volunteered at the Ogawa Ecumenical Work Camp, rebuilding parts of the Christian Social Service Center which had been bombed during World War II.
Sue collected these tea cups as a reminder of the changes that had come to Japanese society and culture during her tenure as a missionary.