In 1974, the company Sanrio launched a vinyl coin purse on which was printed the character that soon became the most popular Japanese character and one of the most popular in the world: the white Japanese bobtail cat Hello Kitty 「ハローキティ」, the symbol of “friendship between all people around the world".
Designed by Yuko Shimizu, Hello Kitty is the best definition of cuteness that I can think of. I also think that the best trait of Hello Kitty is the fact that it doesn’t have a mouth - this makes it able to reflect the viewer’s feelings: if you’re sad, Hello Kitty will seem sad, while if you’re happy, Kitty is also happy…
Surprisingly, the character design specifies that Hello Kitty does not live in Japan, she lives in the suburbs of London - the location was chosen because at the time of her creation many Japanese girls were… reading Alice in Wonderland and were passionate about the Great Britain.
Her full name is Kitty White, the blood type is A (the Japanese like to know the blood type) and her measures are taken in… apples: height is approx. 5 apples and she weights about 3 apples. Hello Kitty’s favorite color is red (she always wears that red hair bow), the favorite food is “mama’s homemade apple pie” and her hobbies are baking cookies and pancakes, origami, foreign cultures, piano and tennis. Kitty is also an avid collector, collecting little stars, ribbons and other cute little things.
Finally, Hello Kitty was born on November 1st, so today is her birthday:
Happy Birthday, Hello Kitty!
… and here is one of my favorite Hello Kitty plushes, dressed in a beautiful silk kimono, bought from Hello Kitty Kawaii Paradise (marked “for sale in Japan only"):
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: