@Aishi Sôsho [Books for Beloved Children] series was a collection of original stories by famous novel writers, except for this Ningyô no Nozomi, which is the first original book of Nogami Yaeko, a young novelist who began her career with the support of Natsume Sôseki, the great Meiji era novelist. Perhaps she wrote this work in place of Natsume, and her eagerness is apparent in this book.
@The story is as follows: on the day of Japanese traditional doll festival for girls (Hinamatsuri), three dolls, who have realized that they will be forgotten by their owners in the future, leave for Greece to gain their souls like humans. They visit Olympus, are given souls, and are asked to choose wisdom or beauty as a gift from the Gods. A Japanese doll, the protagonist, chooses wisdom, as she remembered the tragic death of a doll who refuses to grow up and who lived a life of pleasure. The idea that wisdom is more valuable than anything else reflects Nogami's own belief.
@The ambitious idea of a dolls' journey to Greece, the combination of Japanese traditional Hinamatsuri and Greek myth, and the characterization of dolls made this work a unique fantasy for girls. A doll fantasy, which can be seen in Western literature from the 19th century, was quite a new kind of tale in Japan. It is also the first effort of Nogami who also wrote for Seitô [Blue Stockings Magazine] to write how a woman should live as a human being, a theme which she pursued in her later works. @