Hello Kitty is a Girl, Not a Cat

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(Newswire.net — August 28, 2014) Los Angeles, Cal. — In a Los Angeles Times interview, Christine Yano, curator of an upcoming exhibition Hello Kitty at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, said Sanrio considers its billion-dollar icon to be a human – not a cat!

Christine R. Yano is an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii (and currently a visiting professor at Harvard) who has spent years studying the Hello Kitty phenomenon.

“She doesn’t have this insipid cuteness, ” explain Yano, who is also serving as curator for the Japanese American National Museum’s retrospective. “It’s something clever and creative which contributes to a certain cool factor. For example, take Precious Moments (giftware). That’s cute, but there’s nothing cool about Precious Moments. Hello Kitty has the potential to be so many other things, ” she said.


Iconic Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty is set to star in her very first fan convention, as well as an extensive museum exhibition in the United States to celebrate her 40th birthday.

However, at age 40, Hello Kitty may be running out of product lives. That is the fear of executives at Sanrio, the Japanese company that created the cute, cartoonish white cat-like character in 1974, and groomed her into a huge global marketing phenomenon worth $5 billion a year.

As of 2009, Bank of America began offering Hello Kitty-themed checking accounts, where the account holder can get checks, or a Visa debit card with Kitty’s face on it. MasterCard debit cards have featured Hello Kitty as a design since 2004.

Sanrio and various corporate partners have released Hello Kitty-branded products, including the Hello Kitty Stratocaster electric guitar (since 2006, with Fender in the US) and even an Airbus A330-200 commercial passenger jet airliner, dubbed the Hello Kitty Jet (2005–2009, with EVA Airways in Taiwan).

In late 2011 and early 2012, EVA Air revived their “Hello Kitty Jets” with their three new A330-300s. However, due to high demand, the airline added two more onto their existing A330-200s in mid-2012.

A year after, EVA Air added another Hello Kitty Jet onto one of their 777-300ERs, which not only featured Hello Kitty characters, but other Sanrio characters on that aircraft as well.

Since its release 40 years ago, Hello Kitty becomes the worlds famous, hundreds of billion USD worth pop icon.

And now you’re telling us she’s not a cat!?