Hello Kitty Comes to JANM!!!

Weighing in at about 3 apples and standing 5 whole apples tall, this icon of Japanese popular culture has become one of most popular fictional characters in the world. Hello Kitty was created in Japan in 1974 making this year, 2014 its 40th anniversary!

In honor of Hello Kitty’s 40th birthday, the Japanese American National Museum along with Sanrio, introduce the first-ever Hello Kitty exhibition. The exhibition, “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty”, will offer a number of different perspectives about the franchise including product-based, historical, and sociological examination in addition to an art exhibition outlining her influence on contemporary art.

But how did this cartoon character become such a worldwide phenomenon? This character was first introduced on a vinyl coin purse aimed at a young female audience. Since then, the franchise has expanded to include adult consumers by creating everything from school supplies to fashion accessories. It has also gone on to create TV series, music, video games, and 2 theme parks. All of this success was done without any advertising.

So come check out the Hello Kitty exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum and discover more about this pop culture phenomenon!