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The History of Hello Kitty

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The History of Hello Kitty


Hello Kitty is famously cute. Hello Kitty is popular and adored. Popular is actually an understatement to describe Hello Kitty. Historically, the worldwide phenomenon of Hello Kitty all started in the 1960s with a Japanese man who was selling wares.

He sold sandals or flip flops and noticed a marked improvement in his profits when he added a little cute embellishment to them!

Cute or Kawaii

The word "kawaii" means cute or non threatening in Japanese and has become ingrained in many facets of Japanese culture over the years.

According to the discussion of kawaii on Wikipedia, the Japanese people often feel the importance of maintaining a harmonious, unassuming and cool culture and presence.

  • Many cute things have become immensely popular in Japan and have been imported and exported alike.
  • It is said that the vast majority of the Japanese did not like Cabbage Patch dolls because they looked more ugly than cute.
  • They did not like Barbie dolls that much and preferred a doll that looked younger.
  • They like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Pokémon and other cute characters.

Hello Kitty is probably the most popular cute character of all for the Japanese and in many parts of the world.

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The start of the Hello Kitty franchise

This man that was selling the sandals and adding the cute embellishments to it in the 1960s decided to hire cartoonists / animation artists to assist him with coming up with some nice characters and by 1974 a young Japanese woman, not far out of art and design school and just in her twenties, contributed the character that would become known as Kitty White and start the Hello Kitty franchise.

Minimalist Design in Hello Kitty

  • Kitty White, her family and friends, all the characters of Hello Kitty are very simple and cute.
  • They are patterned in minimalist design with not many features.
  • Although Kitty White does not have a mouth, she is said to have been inspired by a real cat.

© 2022 Nyesha Pagnou MPH

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