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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogSanrio Hello Kitty: The Most Famous Mascot!

Sanrio Hello Kitty: The Most Famous Mascot!

Jojo MorscheJojo Morsche
Published Time
Posted on 
March 11, 2019
Modified Time
Updated last 
February 16, 2023
A large Sanrio Hello Kitty statue in the middle of a store in Kyoto.

Hello Kitty is one of the most well-known Japanese characters in the world. Since 1974, when Sanrio started making Hello Kitty-themed goods, she has won the hearts of girls and boys of all ages. But even though Hello Kitty is cute, there are some things about her that most people don’t know!

How did everything begin?

Shintaro Tsuji started Sanrio in 1962. He was one of the first people to see how cute kawaii was. The first things he made were rubber sandals with flowers on them. He saw that the more attractive his items were, the more people wanted to buy them.

Another large statue of Hello Kitty in a store.
Hello Kitty has a lot of stores worldwide! Image via Shutterstock

So, he hired cartoonists to create cute characters for his products. Yuko Shimizu, who made Hello Kitty, was one of these cartoonists. The first Hello Kitty product was a coin purse, which came out in 1974.

Hello Kitty made her first appearance in the U.S. in 1976, just two years after her debut in Japan. Since then, she has become a worldwide phenomenon. She was now the most famous person in Japanese pop culture, and her worth went from $6 billion in 2010 to $42 billion in 2018.

Hello Kitty a white cat with a red ribbon and a yellow nose.
Hello Kitty has adorable features but no mouth. Image via Shutterstock

At first, Hello Kitty products were made for kids, but as she became more popular, products for teens and adults also started coming out. You can find Hello Kitty on anything, from paper and stuffed animals to suitcases and toasters.

What’s her name?

Hello Kitty is a little girl, even though she looks like a cat. She was made in Japan, but she was made to look British because, at the time, Japanese people were very interested in other countries. People in Japan were also interested in the U.S., but they wanted Hello Kitty to be different, so they made her British and gave her the full name Kitty White.

A bunch of Hello Kitty plushies dressed in kimonos.
She never shies away from dressing up! Image via Shutterstock

In the story, Kitty, her twin sister Mimmy, and her parents, George and Mary, live in London. Hello Kitty has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty, which is an interesting fact. Because of this, some people have said that Hello Kitty is a girl who looks like a cat.

Sanrio’s motto is “social communication,” so they chose the word “hello” even though they thought for a while about calling her “Hi kitty.” Even though their faces look the same, Charmmy Kitty walks on all fours and doesn’t wear any clothes, while Hello Kitty does.

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How come Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth?

Many people have asked why Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth. Sanrio says this is because Hello Kitty says what’s on her mind. Because they wanted Hello Kitty to be their world ambassador, she doesn’t need to speak a language, and they hope she will help people worldwide become friends.

A bunch of Hello Kitty keychains on sale.
These keychains are pretty lovely! Image via Shutterstock

Another reason she doesn’t have a mouth is that people can hide their feelings from her, whether happy or sad. Hello Kitty looks emotionless because she doesn’t have a mouth, and her eyes are black. This is one reason her popularity has declined over the past few years.

Rows and rows of Hello Kitty dressed in pink.
Hello Kitty’s popularity is undeniable! Image via Shutterstock

In her animated show, A Storybook Adventure, Hello Kitty has a mouth; this was most likely so she could express herself easier. But characters in Japanese anime like the ones mentioned here are much better at showing how they feel, so the Sanrio Hello Kitty cartoon didn’t do too well.

Hello Kitty Snacks!

Hello Kitty snacks often use adorable packaging and sweet flavors. Some popular Hello Kitty snacks include cookies, candies, and chocolates. Many snacks also use high-quality ingredients and are perfect for a quick, tasty treat!

An overview of Sanrio Hello Kitty snacks. they are macarons shaped like The Little Twin Stars and Pompompurin.
There are plenty of Sanrio-themed Hello Kitty snacks! Image via Shutterstock

One of the most popular Hello Kitty snacks is the Hello Kitty cookies. These cookies often come in cute shapes and are adorned with Hello Kitty’s signature pink bow.

They are perfect for children’s parties or an attractive and delicious addition to any snack time. Another popular Hello Kitty snack is the Hello Kitty candy. These candies often come in various fruit flavors and are perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

A bowl of Sanrio Hello Kitty ramen with themed fish cakes, seaweed and carrots.
Hello Kitty also has themed ramen! We can’t wait to slurp this up! Image via Shutterstock

In addition to cookies and candies, Hello Kitty chocolates are also famous. These chocolates often come in various shapes, including hearts and stars, and are wrapped in cute Hello Kitty packaging. They make an excellent gift for anyone who loves Hello Kitty or as a special treat for yourself! As a matter of fact, TokyoTreat has included a few Sanrio Hello Kitty snacks in their boxes!

Was Hello Kitty a big part of your childhood? How do you feel about her? Is there someone else you like from Sanrio, like Cinnamoroll or Pompompurin? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Author avatar
Jojo Morsche

2 Responses

Grant Kai says
September 10, 2022, 5:34 AM

Hello Kitty hit American stores when I was just eight.. I remember having the coin purse as a child.. May Hello Kitty remain iconic for generations to come..

Danielle says
February 02, 2023, 11:08 PM

I love Hello Kitty sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much she is cute


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