Monday, 20 July 2015

Cat-astrophic revelation purr-turbs Hello Kitty fans


Six simple words have sent Hello Kitty lovers into a spin. - "Hello Kitty is not a cat."

The apparently shocking revelation was made in an LA Times article published Wednesday about a retrospective of Kitty paraphernalia opening next month at the Japanese American National Museum.

The story started innocently enough before the bombshell was dropped by Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii, who has delved more deeply than most into the Hello Kitty phenomenon.
  • "That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show," Yano told the LA Times.
  • "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."
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5 things you probably didn’t know about Hello Kitty
Today I found out that Hello Kitty was not a cat and my childhood got punched in the face

Anthropologist Christine R. Yano from the University of Hawaii (and currently a visiting professor at Harvard) is an expert on the pop culture phenomenon that is Hello Kitty and is currently curating the Japanese American National Museum’s retrospective. She told the Los Angeles Times that when she was preparing her written texts for the retrospective and gave them to Sanrio (the company that make Hello Kitty) they gave her some pretty firm corrections, especially where Hello Kitty being described as a cat is concerned.

Yano was told that: ‘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.’

What! Yep, so Hello Kitty is not a cat, she looks like a cat, has a cat nose, whiskers and cat ears, but she is not a cat… She is a little girl. To be fair, she is the strangest little girl that I have ever seen.
  • London baby
  • Twins
  • Star sign
  • Apples are a thing
  • She is soon to take over L.A.
related: Avril Lavigne responds to Hello Kitty music video ‘racism’ claims

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15 things you didn't know about Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty was first introduced into the market in 1974, making it the 40th anniversary of the brand this year. However, it has been revealed that the famous Hello Kitty character that we all believed was a feline is in fact a British school girl. Christine R. Yano, who is curating an upcoming Hello Kitty retrospective in Los Angeles, told the LA Times this week that the Sanrio brand who founded Hello Kitty told her that Kitty is 'a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend.
  • But she is not a cat'.
  • Hello Kitty's full name is Kitty White. Despite not being a cat herself, the schoolgirl who lives in the suburbs of London does have her own pet cat called Charmmy Kitty.
  • Why was she created? In 1962, Sanrio founder Shintary Tsuji realised that sandals with decorative, cute designs sold better than plain ones. They then hired cartoonists to design characters to sell more products. The Hello Kitty charcter first appeared on a purse. She was also inspired by the iconic Japanese lucky charm, Maneki-neko, that is said to beckon potential customers into shops in Japan.
  • The Hello Kitty brand is worth US $7 billion a year.
  • Scorning both the imperial and metric systems, Kitty's height is defined as a stack of five apples and her weight is three apples.
  • Her Birthday is November 1, making her a Scorpio.
  • Despite having no mouth, she has produced an album of songs. Sanrio said that this is because she speaks from the heart and isn’t bound to any one language.
  • She has an identical twin names Mimmy. Mimmy wears a yellow bow on the left side of her head, while Kitty wears a red one on her right. They live with their parents George and Mary.
  • There is a Hello Kitty themed maternity hospital that opened in Taiwan in 2008.
  • Kitty White is blood type A.
  • It is said Kitty White enjoys nothing better than her mum’s homemade apple pie.
  • There’s a Hello Kitty figurine made out of diamonds, worth over US $30,000.
  • There are two Hello Kitty theme parks, one in Harmonyland in Iota, Japan and the other in Puroland, just outside Tokyo. The Hello Kitty restaurant is called Hello Kitty Sweets in Taipei and the café is in Seoul.
  • There are currently over 22,000 different Hello Kitty products on the market, ranging from clothing to toasters and even Hello Kitty branded furniture.
  • Merchandise aimed at adults include Hello Kitty cars and bottles of wine.
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Hello Kitty is not a cat, plus more reveals before her L.A. tour
Hello Kitty first made her way to the United States in 1976. This plush doll, from the same year, will be the oldest item on view at an exhibition devoted to the cartoon icon at the Japanese American National Museum. (Sanrio)

I am talking about Hello Kitty, the adorable cultural force that began life as a character on a coin purse in Japan 1974. Produced by Sanrio, she arrived in the United States two years later. And she's been a part of global popular culture ever since. This fall, she is set to take L.A. by storm, witha full-blown retrospective of Kitty art, merch and fashion at the Japanese American National Museum, which opens in mid-October. Two weeks later, the first ever Hello Kitty Con, will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Christine R. Yano is an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii (and currently a visiting professor at Harvard) who has spent years studying the phenomenon that is Hello Kitty. She is also the author of the book "Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific," published by Duke University Press last year. She says that Kitty's unreadable features (she usually doesn't have a mouth), along with clever merchandising, has helped cultivate the character's following.

"Hello Kitty works and is successful partly because of the blankness of her design," Yano says. "People see the possibility of a range of expressions. You can give her a guitar, you can put her on stage, you can portray her as is. That blankness gives her an appeal to so many types of people."

related: What happens when you say Hello Kitty is not a cat? Kitty chaos

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Hello Kitty, Goodbye Your Childhood: The reveal that the character’s not a cat leaves us feline glum
To paraphrase Rene Magritte: “This is not a cat.” (photo: Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

But now — brace yourself, cartoon fans — the news comes on little non-cat feet that Hello Kitty, that globally popular feline, is not, in fact, a cat.

That sound you hear is much of the planet hissing back at Kitty’s corporate keepers in disbelief and arching its back in defense. Let the fur fly — this artistic scrape could get nasty. (And to all you fans around the world who knew this all along: How could you keep this to yourselves for four decades?)

This latest travesty comes courtesy of an article this week in the Los Angeles Times, which is preparing for a forthcoming Kitty retrospective and Hello Kitty Con that mark the 40th anniversary since Japan first stamped the blank-faced cat not-a-cat on a coin purse.

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Hello Kitty Is the 'Personification' of a Cat, Company Says

News broke on Wednesday that Hello Kitty is not, in fact a cat, but a little girl, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat," Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii told the newspaper. "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."

That was shocking news to the legion of Hello Kitty fans. But a spokesman for Sanrio Tokyo, the company behind Hello Kitty, today told the website Kotaku that saying Hello Kitty is not a cat might be taking it a bit far.

related: Avril Lavigne Says Her 'Hello Kitty' Video Is Not Racist

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Hello Kitty bombshell: ‘She’s not a cat’
Hello Kitty is not a cat – at least that’s what Sanrio expects people to believe

Despite the fact that the cartoon cat has whiskers and pointy cat ears, Hello Kitty is allegedly a walking, talking two-legged little girl “with a heart of gold” who lives in England with her parents and twin sister Mimmy, according to her backstory on the official fan site, SanrioTown.com.

Her favorite color is red, she is a Scorpio and her hobbies include jamming out to her favorite music, eating cookies and her mom’s apple pies, collecting cute things, playing the piano and making new friends. The news shocked many who had believed that if is looks like a cat, is called Kitty, then it must be a cat.

“Hello Kitty is a cat. She has whiskers and a cat nose. Girls don’t look like that. Stop this nonsense,” singer Josh Groban tweeted Wednesday.

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Hello Kitty fans purr-turbed by revelation as iconic character turns 40
A visitor poses with Hello Kitty on display as she has her souvenir pictures taken during an exhibition of Hello Kitty and its related items including interactive games in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, July 14, 2013. (AP / Chiang Ying-ying)

She may look like a friendly feline, have pointed cat-like ears and a handful of whiskers adorning her tiny nose, but don't be fooled: Hello Kitty is not a cat.

The shocking revelation about the world-famous Japanese cartoon character was revealed earlier this week in a Los Angeles Times article.

In the article, which was published ahead of a Hello Kitty retrospective opening at the Japanese American National Museum this fall, U.S. anthropologist Christine Yano dropped the bombshell news.

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Hello Kitty owners Sanrio say Hello Kitty is not a cat at all, never has been, and is instead a little girl — with whiskers, as internet users react


AFTER those behind Japanese icon Hello Kitty revealed she wasn’t a cat at all, internet users started questioning everything they used to believe.

The company has received thousands of comments from internet users who spluttered: “But she’s got whiskers!”

“Hello Kitty is a cheerful and happy little girl with a heart of gold,” brand owner Sanrio says on its website.

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Mind Blown: Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat But A British Young Girl


In a firm correction made by Sanrio to an anthropologist, the very famous character Hello Kitty is not a cat but a British young girl.

Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, was tasked to put up the exhibit for Hello Kitty's tour to Los Angeles. In the written texts for the exhibits, she described Hello Kitty as a cat. However, Sanrio corrected her firmly.

"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," Yano told The Los Angeles Times.

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Surprise! Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat


Hello Kitty! You have seen her on your eight-year-old cousin’s backpack and your college roommate’s tote bag (“I . . . uh, got this when I was younger!”), on a dress worn by Lady Gagaand the track list of Avril Lavigne’s most recent album. Hello Kitty has become something of a behemoth, reportedly earning its maker Sanrio more than $7 billion a year, an absurd number that seems all the more absurd when considering Sanrio does very little advertising.

Hello Kitty is turning 40 this year, and she is celebrating with a splashy Us Weekly cover (“THAT ‘HELLO’ GLOW: HOW HELLO KITTY FINDS JOY AT 40 AND WHY SHE’LL NEVER SHAVE THOSE WHISKERS”) and a late-night bash at the Gramercy Petco thrown by Olivia Benson and Meredith, Taylor Swift’s cats. Just kidding! She’s actually celebrating with a full-on Los Angeles takeover, as, this fall, a retrospective Hello Kitty exhibit will be going up at the Japanese American National Museum, and the first-ever Hello Kitty Con will take place, as well.

While Kitty endures as a brand, she is, in some ways, an enigma. What happened to her mouth? Is she sad about not having a mouth, or has she comes to terms with it? Who gave her that pink bow? Is there a Mr. Hello Kitty?! Does she yearn for more out of life—or, at the very least, for a new outfit to wear?

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Hello Kitty NOT a cat but actually human says firm behind the global brand

The makers of popular doll Hello Kitty have revealed that she is in fact human. The Japanese company behind the global brand says she is actually a primary school-aged girl from London and not a cat as the name and image implies.

Hello Kitty’s back story is being published to mark her 40th anniversary since she was created by firm Sanrio. Despite the whiskers, it turns out the cartoon character has a twin sister and a cat of her own called Charmmy Kitty. Hello Kitty has grown into a global phenomenon worth $7 billion a year in sales.

Originally aimed at young girls, the brand is now popular with adult consumers.

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Sanrio shocker! Company reveals Hello Kitty is not actually a cat

As preparations are made for the roll-out of Hello Kitty's 40th birthday festivities in Los Angeles, the company that makes the beloved mouthless feline wants to set the record straight:

Hello Kitty is not a cat at all, says Sanrio. She's a real human little girl who lives outside of London, has a twin sister and a cat of her own and will forever be in third grade.

It's part of Hello Kitty's origin story that most of the world never glommed onto as the Japanese character steadily won over hearts and minds across the globe beginning in the early 1970s.

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Hello Kitty is not a cat. Everything is a lie.


If you were wondering whether everything is a lie, the answer is: yes. Everything is a lie.

Hello Kitty is not a kitty. I repeat: Hello Kitty is not a kitty. According to Sanrio, Hello Kitty — whom you have seen on literally every consumer product at an increasing rate over the past 40 years — is in fact a human child.

This is as devastating as when they came out with Paper by Paperless Post.

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Your whole world is about to get flipped upside down: Hello Kitty isn’t a cat

Everyone knows Hello Kitty is a cat, mostly because, well she has whiskers and her name has the word kitty in. But it turns out everyone is wrong. Very wrong.

Sanrio, the company behind the Japanese character which this year celebrates it 40th birthday, has revealed she’s actually a British girl who lives just outside London. Oh right, obviously.

The corrections to Hello Kitty’s species were first noted as preparations for the birthday celebrations were made in LA earlier this week, but the Sanrio website has everything you need to know.

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Full Coverage:
CNET:Hello Kitty is not a cat?
New York Daily: Hello Kitty is not a cat — and never has been, company says
The Guardian: Hello Kitty: when is a cat not a cat?
Straits Times: Hello Kitty is not a cat, she's a British schoolgirl, says Sanrio
The Wire: What Mrow? Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat
SBS: Hello Kitty not a cat, 'never has been'
CBC: Hello Kitty is not a cat, according to Sanrio
Guardian Liberty Voice: Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat, Says Japanese Creators
New York Post: Hello Kitty bombshell: 'She's not a cat'
Washington Post: Hello Kitty is not a cat. Everything is a lie
Metro: Your whole world is about to get flipped upside down: Hello Kitty isn't a cat
Fox News: Hello Kitty not a cat, company says ... or is she?
Washington Post: Newsflash: Hello Kitty has never been a cat
Today: Hello Kitty fans tweet shock after hearing she's not a cat
BBC News: Hello Kitty is not a cat - she's a British school kid
Toronto Star: Hello Kitty is a little British girl — not a cat
CTV News: Hello Kitty fans purr-turbed by revelation as iconic character turns 40
CNN: Cat-astrophic revelation purr-turbs Hello Kitty fans
Huffington Post: Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat Because Nothing Makes Sense Anymore
KHON2: Hello Kitty is not a cat; UH professor explains the revelation
Washington Post: Hello Kitty, Goodbye Your Childhood: The character's not a cat
Parade: Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat! 'My Whole Life Has Been a Lie'
AsiaOne: Sanrio wants it known that Hello Kitty is a girl, not a cat
Daily Mail: Sanrio shocker! Company reveals Hello Kitty is not actually a cat
Mirror.co.uk: Hello Kitty NOT a cat but actually human says firm behind global brand
Los Angeles Times: Carolina A. Miranda
Vanity Fair: Surprise! Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat
International Business: Mind Blown: Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat But A British Young Girl
Jezebel: Wait, Hello Kitty Isn't a Cat?
Metro: 5 things you probably didn't know about Hello Kitty
NEWS.com.au: Hello Kitty owners Sanrio say Hello Kitty never been a cat at all
ABC News: Hello Kitty Is the 'Personification' of a Cat, Company Says

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