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  • Hello Kitty - Japan's greatest export?

    You may well have seen Hello Kitty - she exists as plushies, on bags, and honestly, just about everywhere. I'm still surprised that some people don't realize that she's from Japan. Then again, I didn't know at first that she had a whole complex backstory or even a second name!
    Bearing this in mind, is Hello Kitty Japan's greatest pop culture export or not? On the one hand, it's almost like she has taken over the whole world almost single-handedly - she is super recognizable. On the other hand, if you don't know that she has anything to do with Japan, is she successful as a Japanese icon?
    There are plenty of other characters in Japan that haven't made it past the border that are also cute - rilakkuma, capibara-san, alpacasso... and in fact, many other pop culture icons, especially if you start to consider anime and video games.
    What/who do you think is Japan's greatest cultural export, if not Hello Kitty? Mario? Dragonball? Something less personified like karaoke? Let me know!

  • #2
    But they announced hello kitty is not a cat and also she's not female.
    confused much? me too.

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    • #3
      I remember that news! They said that Hello Kitty is a British girl, not a cat. So she is still female!
      I don't fully understand it, but I guess it makes as much sense as her not having a mouth. People still buy the stuff though, I don't think it matters all that much.
      I'll take your answer as a vote against Hello Kitty as a cultural icon then?

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      • #4
        No! Thanks to Hello Kitty, that girl I courted a long time ago became my girlfriend. hehe. I gifted her a cute Hello Kitty.

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        • #5
          I am not totally hyped about Hello kitty, but I want to argue that I think Anime is their greatest export in general (internationally) or maybe I'm biased because I do not like Hello Kitty! She's so complicated I almost don't recognize her in her backstory. (

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          • #6
            Well, no doubt, Hello Kitty is one of the greatest export of Japan. I am not from Japan but, I love Hello Kitty so much, especially when I was still a little girl. Hello Kitty stuffs like bags, shirts, dress, pencil, pencil case, ballpen, shoes, etc. I had it when I was a kid. And, my classmates would always get jealous when I get new stuff of Hello Kitty from my aunts and uncles. Too obsessed I guess! hahaha! My room was like full of Hello Kitty stuffed toys, bed sheet, pillows, you name it. As a little girl, you're well-liked by your classmates when you have Hello Kitty things. Even until now, ladies still adore Hello Kitty. I sure did have a great childhood.

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            • #7
              Well, that's two votes for Hello Kitty, and one for anime so far, then!
              I can definitely agree that anime has wide-spread appeal between both genders, and even among all ages, if you look at something like Pokémon. It's also recognized by most people as an export of Japan! Then there is all of the merchandise, which grabs people in further. Anime makes people want to visit Japan, to see the places and food and culture that they see in the anime as well. I think you're onto something there, tsubaki nakajima!
              That sounds very impressive, iamnicole! I think I would have been jealous of you It really is amazing the number of things you can get with a Hello Kitty design on them!

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