Until very recently, since 1948, View-Master has been a toy every kid wanted, had, or at the very least was familiar with.
I have a couple, including an original black one with a brass handle and one reel from 1948 starring Little Black Sambo. Yeah, racist, but only in name only. The content is just 3D cool.
Anyhow, America's sweetheart with the impossible big boobs to waist ratio, Barbie, has been featured in View-Master 3D reels a few times, one of the one's we are looking at is from Barbie’s Around the World Trip (View-Master packet #B500).
The 'plot' revolves around Barbie winning a trip around the world. Probably because she had big boobs. They certainly take the prize. Anyhow, the prize was for the whole family plus two friends whom I assumed were her sweater puppets nicknamed Left and Righty. But I was wrong.
As you have already figured out, Barbie and Co. make a stop in Japan... and rather than typically showing Barbie and friends staring at a temple or climbing Mt. Fuji or running from star-throwing ninja, we see in her diary:
"We enjoyed the Tea Ceremony in Kyoto, Japan"
How cool. A tea ceremony. I never saw that coming.
Anyhow... from within the View-Master's 16-page booklet, further information is found, including a full Barbie diary entry! How does she see anything in front of her when she looks down?
Her diary entry reads:
June 10 Kyoto, Japan
We saw so much bowing here that soon we were bowing to each other. Ken bowed and said, “Arigatu,” (thank you) to Midge when she handed him a roll of film. She solemnly bowed too, and didn’t realize it till we laughed. Daddy said Americans should have picked up some Japanese ways like they did ours after the war. I wished I could learn to serve tea as carefully as that Japanese girl who performed the Tea Ceremony for us. Every art object, every utensil and motion had a meaning; all are to make hostess and guests happier as they drink together.
Kite flying is another old Oriental custom, and I sketched my tomboy sister flying one that looked like a bird in the air. The Japanese have many festivals for children. During Boy’s Festival, each boy in the family is represented by a carp kite flying from the rooftop.
It's kind of cool that they included some data for the boys... so maybe even a boy might want to look at this pretty much all-girl's View-Master topic.... though truthfully, any kid anywhere will look at any View-Master reel... even those boring old one showing scenic photos... at least once... snapping the handle quickly just to say you have seen a cactus in a desert. (yawn)
I'm not going to take credit for this 'scoop'. This was part of a much longer presentation of Barbie's trip around the world that I spotted on the blog: View-Master World, but specifically HERE.
It's a pretty cool site and I urge you to give it a look see when you are done here.
Anyhow... I love that Barbie got the term 'arigato' wrong, spelling it with a 'u'. Hey... Japanese don't speak perfect English and the rest of us can't spell Japanese correctly all the time.