Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hello Kitty Is Not A Kitty

There's supposed to be a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese-American National Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit's being put together by Christine Yano of the University of Hawaii. Naturally, because it's Hello Kitty, Yano went about constructing the text for the exhibits portraying her as the most iconic Japanese kitty that ever kittied.
This was both her first and second mistake, apparently, because Sanrio very firmly corrected her. Because there is something to correct about this matter.

Hello Kitty is not a kitty and isn't Japanese and her name isn't Hello Kitty. The big cat ears and whiskers and tail belong to a human girl named Kitty White, daughter of George and Mary White, who also look like kitties but are not actually kitties, living just outside of London, because Japanese women were on a British kick in the 70's when the character was created. Kitty owns a kitty named Charmmy Kitty who looks like Kitty, but Kitty but is not herself a kitty. The cartoon character walking upright all the time means something, dangit. It's important.

Her blood type is A.  If you're Japanese, real or fictional, you will have your blood type announced (positives and negatives are discounted, just A, B, AB or O). It's considered something of a personality test. Kind of like your horoscope, except blood type outranks horoscope in Japan. Type B's and especially AB's actually tend to get discriminated against.

Now, if you're a Hello Kitty fan, you possibly already know this. Possibly. There's a real good chance this is a revelation to you too. There are comments to both effects on Hello Kitty's official Facebook page, which I have copied and pasted verbatim:

Paige Haggard: "Is it weird I already knew all of this?? And she's is actually a human, not a cat. Her real name is kitty white...After a 3rd grader named that. But Sanrio says she is not a cat, but she has a cat. She's is a little girl. #HKfanatic #obsessed #loyal #sinceiwaslil"
Gemma Jerez: "Um I kinda knew that already. I don't get why some people are making a huge deal out of it. If you look at hello kitty, shes not a cat except for her face-hence the "kitty" her hands and feet dont look life paws. And she doesnt have a long tail like a cat. I dont care if she is a,cat or a girl. But the fact that she is a she and that shes cute is why I loved her since I was a kid."
Tina Buadaeng: "I'm obsessed with HK! she IS a cat!!!! Wiskers and Kerroppi not a frog because he isn't on all four legs and have little slits on his round nubby hands? NO. This sanrio claim is rediculous. P.s. a cat shouldn't have a pet cat.."
Rhian Hill: "she may not be a proper cat as she acts human as does her whole family, she also has her own proper pet cat. but she is a cat girl. like many anime have. half cat half girl. as are the rest of her friends. half human half animal. that doesn't mean she is not cat at all."
Lauren Theresa Ermilio: "Lol I really like that this is a legitimate discussion. Because we all know that anyone with a serious obsession (like I have and pretty much anyone who cared to comment on this probably shares with me) really doesn't care what she is because you love her no matter what. And yet I'm sucked in to this thread. For no reason. Go Sanrio."

So... cat, girl, catgirl, if you're hardcore enough, you don't care.

I am not hardcore enough, and therefore... oh, Japan.

No comments: