Keroppi, Chococat, Pochacco, Tuxedo Sam – I grew up with all of them, and it turns out their super cute, expressionless, bow-wearing ruler is a lie.
Yep. According to Sanrio, Hello Kitty is not actually a cat.
Nope. She’s a human girl. A British one at that.
Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii, is currently curating a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Los Angeles-based Japanese American National Museum, which of course involves writing copy to go with it. Sanrio had a few corrections after checking it out, namely that her description of the famous character as a cat was wrong.
“I was corrected – very firmly,” she said to 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.”
Hello Kitty is actually named Kitty White and has a full back story, revealing, among other things, that she’s a Scorpio, loves apple pie, has a twin sister, and is a perpetual third grader.
“… I could go on,” adds Yano. “A lot of people don’t know the story and a lot don’t care. But it’s interesting because Hello Kitty emerged in the 1970s, when… Japanese women were into Britain. They loved the idea of Britain. It represented the quintessential idealized childhood, almost like a white picket fence. So the biography was created exactly for the tastes of that time.”
Does this mean Peppa isn’t really a pig and Curious George is a humanzee?
So. Many. Questions.
Photo credits: Sanrio