Sanrio Reveals That Hello Kitty is Not a Cat
posted on by Chris Nishijima
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty fulfilling a mission of warming hearts all over the world. But while everyone may be celebrating this momentous birthday party, it seems that there are a few misunderstandings that need to be clarified. After 40 years of childrens toys, accessories, anime, and more, Sanrio has cleared up what may be the most mind-blowing misconception about the iconic character – Hello Kitty is not a cat.
The revelation was brought to light thanks to anthropologist Christine R. Yano, a professor at the University of Hawaii. During the proofreading stage of Yano's script for the opening presentation of the upcoming Hello Kitty exhibit at downtown L.A.'s Japanese American National Museum, Sanrio representatives stopped her on her reference to Kitty as a cat.
"I was corrected — very firmly," she said, according to the L.A. Times. "That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."
Interestingly enough, this is not the only revelation that Kitty has to offer us, as Yano explains that Kitty is a citizen of Great Britain. According to Kitty's backstory, which can be found on Sanrio's Sanriotown, this little girl, who happens to have feline characteristics, lives in London, England. Furthermore, despite another misconception of confusing the character's name with the franchise name of "Hello Kitty," her actual name is Kitty White, and she is the daughter of George and Mary White.
There is more information about Yano's thesis that can be read in the original coverage of the story from the L.A. Times, including the history of Kitty's significance to the Asian American community. "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty," opens on October 11 at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles. The opening of the exhibit will soon be followed by America's first ever Hello Kitty Con, to be held from October 30 to November 2 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).
[Via L.A. Times]