Barbie and I

AuthorFumiko Miyatsuka
ISBN978 - 4750511054
PublicationApril, 2011
Estimated length164P
Size188 × 130 mm
With Barbie’s perfect proportions and high-sense dresses she immediately became a hit among girls when it started production in Japan in 1958. This is the shocking biography of a working woman who helped propel the image of Japanese products to the world standard during a time when they had an image of, “You get what you pay for.”

■Table of Contents

Introduction—Barbie is my treasure 1

Chapter 1: Meeting Ms. Johnson
  My first job was meeting her at Haneda Airport
  Interview 01 First impressions of an American
  The Imperial Hotel was my office
  Interview 02 The Imperial Hotel and Ms. Johnson
  Every day I returned home on the last train
  Column 01 Revival of “Made in Japan” Toys—After “Made in Occupied Japan”

Chapter 2: Entry Test
  Interview 03 Born in 1932
  A job in hand
  The entry test was a doll’s pants
  Column 02 The Foundation of the Textile Kingdom That Gave Birth to Barbie, Japan
  Column 03 Producing Barbie in Japan, at Kokusai Boeki Kaisha, Ltd.

Chapter 3: The Story of Barbie Dress Production
  The Imperial Hotel’s research room
  Designing patterns with two people
  Interview 04 Extraordinary first salary
  The faucet that became the hint for a hat
  Good idea
  The sweater ensemble knitted at night
  A Barbie to be proud of
  Interview 05 Ms. Johnson’s work
  Interview 06 The United States and Japan, Men and Women
  Column 04 Kokusai Boeki Kaisha, Ltd.’s Bet—The accounts of Tanaka Masaru
  Column 05 The ideas of Mattel, Inc.’s Co-founder Ruth Handler

Chapter 4: Nationwide Debut
  Ms. Johnson’s return home
  Interview 07 Numerous prototypes
  The pressures of mass production
  And the days of factory inspection
  Interview 08 “Rest a little, Ms. Miyatsuka.”
  Ken’s tuxedo is too big!?
  Interview 09 The tatami workspace on the banks of the Sumida River
  Column 06 The Difficulty of Making a Doll’s Body The accounts of Tanaka Sho
  Column 07 To Technological Innovation, the Efforts of Yamazaki Seiichi The accounts of Tanaka Sho

Chapter 5: Barbie, to the World
  “Good morning, Principle.”
  The workaholic employees of the Showa era
  Request to leave the company
  Interview 10 The reason why they asked me to say
  Establishment of Miyatsuka Sewing
  Column 08 Design Strategy for Barbie’s Dresses Before Ms. Johnson
  Column 09 Quality First With Ms. Johnson
  Column 10 Barbie’s Japan Release

Chapter 6: Devoted to Dolls
  Work at Miyatsuka Sewing
  Interview 11 Fumiko Miyatsuka in the eyes of Keiko Kumiko in their 50 years together
  Doll clothing specialist
  With family
  Embarking on apartment management
  #959 Theater Date—Standards of sewing
  Dress Pick-up

Chapter 7: 50 Years of Barbie
  The work I gave my life to
  Column 11 The Future of Barbie


About the Author

Born in 1932, Fumiko Miyatsuka is the sixth child of seven. Upon joining Kokusai Boeki Kaisha, Ltd. in 1957, she was immediately put in charge of Barbie’s dresses, where she remained until leaving the company. In 1963, she started her own business, Miyatsuka Sewing, which specialized in making clothing for dolls, and becoming the first person involved in producing dress-up clothing for Licca-chan. Currently, she enjoys her days collecting Barbie dolls and taking pictures.