Hello Kitty Statue Removed From Shrine After Sanrio Finds Out
posted on by Egan Loo
A shopping district in Kofu City removed the stone Hello Kitty statue from its "Kitty-chan Shrine" on Tuesday, just two days after it was installed. The district had not received permission to use the character from Hello Kitty's rights-holder, Sanrio.
According to the district's association, it installed the statue at the "Kofu Ginza Street" entrance in the city's Chūō ward to bring in more young customers, since Kofu is the birthplace of Sanrio's president Shintarō Tsuji. It also built a shrine out of cypress for the statue, and about 100 people attended the unveiling ceremony on Sunday. However, Sanrio learned about the statue from media reports of the unveiling and lodged a protest and a request for its removal.
The association's head, Yoshio Nagasaka, apologized to Sanrio as well as to people who had come to see the shrine. Whether or not the statue can be brought back again in the future is uncertain.