We've covered a lot of interesting facets of Japanese culture. However, I noticed that one of the most influential cultural good from Japan has yet to be featured – the incredibly cute Hello Kitty!
Where it all began ...
Hello Kitty was created by a company called Sanrio in 1974. The cute kitten character itself was the brainchild of in-house designer Ikuko Shimizu. Why was Hello Kitty invented in the first place? Apparently they were looking for a adorable character to adorn one of their merchandises. You know, so that it gives them an edge over other competitors. Well, since then, this petite little character has become a worldwide favorite, both amongst little children as well as grownups.
Here are some fun facts about Hello Kitty:
- She may have been well-loved from the start but she did not have a flamboyant pose at first. Hardcore fans will remember that her first pose was a sitting pose.
- All fictional characters have a background story to them. Do you know the one about this pretty one? Apparently, Hello Kitty lives in England with her family. Her family name is White and she's got a Mom, a Dad and twin sister too!
- Hello Kitty's real name is Kitty White. How about that! I found the name and location slightly strange but it seems like it might have been an indirect reflection of the local trends i.e. the increasing popularity of Western culture.
- According to some sources, her name was derived from Through The Looking Glass.
- Turns out there is also a Bear that lives with her family. I still don't get the logic behind that but I suppose no one complains about getting a teddy toy with the Hello Kitty set.
- This little celebrity's blood type is A. Remember, blood group categories is to Japanese culture what astrology is to Western culture.
- Hello Kitty has a boyfriend! What? His name is Dear Daniel and apparently he is AWOL most of the time. Seems like he loves traveling. I suppose now Mom and Dad don't have to worry about the birds and the bees talk for a while.
- In case you are wondering about his name, turns out it was inspired by a character in a movie called Melody (1971).