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Barbie and her Japanese Friend

Barbie's SecretBarbie’s Secret
1964 (original copyright 1958)

Barbie, our complicated friend who has trouble with career choices and men (Ken, what is wrong with you?) is now facing some cultural challenges as she hosts an exchange student from Japan. Barbie meets the wonderful Yoshiko and helps her fit in to the good life in America. First up, change her name to something more appropriate. Yoshiko’s new name is Posy. Much better, right? All your favorite Asian stereotypes are right here for your entertainment. Probably a good idea if there are no plans for a “UN Ambassador” Barbie.

Sorry, I didn’t read far enough to find out Barbie’s secret.


Barbie's Secret back cover

Barbie and Yoshiko Tanaka

Special Morning

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy continued

22 Responses to Barbie and her Japanese Friend

  • Cover looks like a tabloid photo of a couple caught in the act….

  • In the next chapter, Yoshiko learns that there are actually many Barbies, each with different professions. Barbie’s secret is that she is a clone!

  • Could it be that Barbie’s secret is *gasp* she’s racist?

  • Posy?
    And I had no idea Barbie had ever been given a last name.

  • On the plus side, “What is Barbie’s last name” is a great trivia question.

  • That looks like either PI Barbie, Stalker Barbie, or Not Appropriate for Small Children Barbie on the cover.

  • I personally am holding out for that “gay collection of stories” featuring Barbie, Midge and Ken. (See back cover image above; I couldn’t possibly make that up).

  • I apologize if this sounds rude, but who cares about a half-century old book about Barbie in ANY country on Earth right now, when the entire world is mourning Prince’s death? Instead of adding Barbie to this website, can’t you find an outdated Prince biography to add to it?

    • 🙂 Right on the mark!

    • While prince was a talented musician, he is not the only artist we have lost this year. No posts were made for those individuals either. Unfortunately, not everything revolves around the latest lost talent.

    • (2 months later) Or Muhammad Ali, or Gordie Howe …

  • Barbie’s secret is that Skipper is NOT her little sister, per se…

  • I’m surprised Yoshiko didn’t ask why Barbie walks around on tiptoe.

  • Oh, wow! I think I had one of these books. The typeface and illustration style wakes a faint childhood memory. I hadn’t thought about it for about 50 years. I don’t remember it well enough for any of the titles listed on the back cover of this book to wake up the memory of which one I had. Now it’s going to drive me crazy wondering which Barbie book was mine.

  • How did I ever live without knowing there are Barbie books? Sure wish you had told us the secret! LOL. My parents were the kind to forbid Barbie entirely but I did somehow get away with Stacy.

  • “small brown hands”?? Oops wrong stereotype!

  • Yoshiko thought all Americans look like Barbie?!
    The cover picture looks like Barbie’s been sucking on a lemon.

  • Definitely put this up for auction on E-bay. There is a real market for vintage Barbie merchandise.

    • School libraries can’t sell books on eBay since they were purchased with taxpayer money.

  • “Posy’s eyes are as dark as chocolate fudge. And that’s the most beautiful thing I know.” What a charmer….