Hello Kitty - Sanrio Wiki (2024)

Hello Kitty
UniverseHello Kitty
Other namesKitty White
Japanese nameハローキティ, Hello Kitty
キティ・ホワイト, Kitty White
キティちゃん, Kitty-chan
Date of first appearance1974
Based onAnthropomorphism of a Japanese bobtail cat
GenderFemale
Home/Nationality/Usually Found AtBritish

Hello Kitty is a Sanrio character created in 1974, originally designed by Yuko Shimizu and currently designed by Yuko Yamaguchi, succeeding Yonekuba Setsuko.

She is a cheerful character who is an anthropomorphism of a Japanese bobtail cat, meaning that she has traits of both a human and a cat.

She is arguably the most successful Sanrio character who is known across the world and can be found in countless Sanrio merchandise of many kinds for both children and adults.

Hello Kitty usually has no visible mouth. According to Yuko Yamaguchi, this is so that people can "project their own feelings onto her face", which may suggest that people can emphasize with Hello Kitty regardless of whether they are happy or sad.[1] Another reason given by Sanrio why Hello Kitty has no mouth is that Hello Kitty "speaks from the heart" and that as an ambassador to the world she "isn't bound to any particular language".[2]

Contents

  • 1 Early history
  • 2 Kitty Boom
  • 3 Biography
  • 4 Family
  • 5 Friends
  • 6 Other related characters
    • 6.1 Babies
    • 6.2 Variations
  • 7 Controversies
    • 7.1 Hello Kitty is "not a cat"
  • 8 References

Early history

The first Hello Kitty merchandise is believed to be a coin pouch with Hello Kitty, some milk, and Hello Kitty's fish that simply says "Hello!"; a product under Sanrio's Petit Purse branding.[3] She also had a counterpart known as Baby Kitty, not to be confused with later designs.[4]

Kitty Boom

Hello Kitty Shinkansen

Main article: Kitty Boom.

Hello Kitty originally wasn't the most popular Sanrio character, as early in her history the Little Twin Stars were once more popular. In fact there was a point where she was losing popularity after her first artist retired, until the introduction of Tinychum as Hello Kitty's friend, and smart marketing strategies (such as Hello Kitty Print Clubs), as well as celebrity recognition made her popular again. This made her so popular that even overseas countries would recognize her more, such as United States (a phenomenon known as the Kitty Boom).[5]

For Hello Kitty EVA Air, Sanrio collaborated with the EVA Air airline and they released the EVA Air Airbus A330-300, featuring Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters on the aeroplane. There have been cars with Sanrio designs such as the Louis Vuitton Hello Kitty Mini. The Hello Kitty Shinkansen is a special Hello Kitty bullet train by West Japan Railway Company located on the Sanyo Shinkansen line between Hakata Station and Shin-Osaka Station.[6]

40th Anniversary Hello Kitty Print Club at Harmonyland

Biography

“A bright and cheerful girl with a heart of gold. Makes delicious cookies, but prefers Mom's apple pie. Hello Kitty is best friends with her twin sister Mimmy.”
Sanrio official website

Her motto is "You can never have too many friends!".[7]

Hello Kitty's real name is Kitty White. She was born on November 1st, as was her twin sister Mimmy. She is blood type "A" and lives in Suburban London. She is good at making cookies, and her favourite word is "friendship". Her favourite subjects are English, music and art.

Hello Kitty's favourite food is "Momma's apple pie". She collects small cute things "like candy, stars, goldfish, etc." She is best friends with Mimmy, her twin sister.[8]

She is "five apples" high and weighs "three apples".

Family

  • Mimmy
  • Papa
  • Mama
  • Grandpa
  • Grandma
  • Charmmy Kitty (pet)

Friends

  • Dear Daniel
  • My Melody
  • Minna no Tābō
  • Bad Badtz-Maru
  • Pompompurin
  • Macaroon
  • Kuromi
  • Pochacco
  • Pekkle
  • Kerokerokeroppi
  • Cinnamoroll
  • Corocorokuririn
  • Shirousa
  • Kurousa
  • Patty
  • Jimmy
  • Kiki
  • Lala
  • Fifi
  • Tippy
  • Tracy
  • Thomas
  • Rotti
  • Rory
  • Timmy
  • Joey
  • Judy
  • Tinychums
  • Mory
  • Jody
  • Cathy (discontinued for legal reasons)
  • Llama
  • Hello Kitty's fish (original)
  • Hello Kitty's fish (Sanrio Digital)
  • Rubber ducky
  • Chicks
  • Penguin-san
  • Dolphin
  • Bat
  • Seal
  • Pegasus
  • Butterfly
  • Teddy bear (unidentified Hello Kitty character)[9][10][11]
  • Little Miss Hug (best friends promotion)[12]
  • Pusheen (third party best friends promotion)[13]
  • Postman
  • Doctor
  • Sanrio Puroland heart
  • Hello Kitty Sanrio Poco a Poco characters
  • Chip
  • Mouser
  • Amy
  • Eric
  • Harry

Animals:

  • Chicken
  • Chicks
  • Cow
  • Elephant

Other related characters

Babies

  • Baby Kitty
  • Baby Mimmy
  • Baby Daniel
  • Baby Cathy

Variations

See Category:Variations of Hello Kitty for more

  • Ichigoman
  • DarkGrapeMan
  • Honeymomo
  • Angel Kitty
  • Sailor Kitty
  • Nurse Kitty
  • Black Hello Kitty
  • Red Hello Kitty
  • Panda Hello Kitty
  • Honeybee Kitty
  • Chinese Zodiac Hello Kitty

Controversies

Hello Kitty is "not a cat"

When Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii was curating a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles she was corrected by Sanrio that Hello Kitty is "not a cat" but a "cartoon character". Sanrio noted that Hello Kitty walks on two legs and is never depicted on all fours unlike her pet cat Charmmy Kitty. This became viral and the Internet sensationalized it as shocking or as a negative thing.[14]

However, when Kotaku asked Sanrio's Tokyo headquarters whether Hello Kitty was a cat, they replied that Hello Kitty is a "gijinka" (meaning "anthropomorphization" or "personification.") created in the motif of a cat and suggested it is a statement too far to say that Hello Kitty is not a cat.[15]

References

  1. 10 Questions for Yuko Yamaguchi - TIME
  2. Top cat: How 'Hello Kitty' conquered the world - Asia - World - The Independent
  3. Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered The World - Matt Alt, June 23, 2020 page 101.
  4. The Strawberry News/No. 70 (February 1, 1978) page 11 via 『いちご新聞』にみる〈ハローキティ〉像の変遷 , Michiko Shimizu Bulletin of Research Volume 10 Page 101-1
  5. Japanese Wikipedia editors (references are included there via in-line citations)
  6. Live Japan article
  7. Sanrio.com - Hello Kitty Con 2014 page.
  8. Sanrio official website (archived, 2011) - Hello Kitty Family.
  9. Japanese character directory page
  10. Hello Kitty EVA Air website - Characters
  11. Hello Kitty Magical Museum Guidebook and Hello Kitty no Metcha Esute Official Guidebook
  12. In the activity book, Hello Kitty and Little Miss Hug meet.
  13. Hello Kitty x Pusheen, example merchandise
  14. BBC - "Hello Kitty is not a cat - She's a British school kid"
  15. "Don't Be Silly, Hello Kitty Is a Cat" - Kotaku

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