Fine Arts

She Had Us At Hello: The Hello Kitty Exhibit

Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty

Cynthia:  How cute is this? The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles has a Hello Kitty exhibit going on until May 31, 2015.

Marcy:  Not cute – kawaii. Don’t you know your Japanese?

Cynthia:  You’re right –  Hello Kitty is part of the Kawaii culture in Japan. Kawaii meaning… cute.

Marcy:  So how was it?

Cynthia:  Amazing! The exhibit was impressively comprehensive. It covered her entire range of kitty stardom starting with her humble beginnings in 1974 through her global takeover and current reign as queen of the pop culture cats.

Cynthia is 14 apples tall


Cynthia: There were hundreds of Hello Kitty products and toys to view.



Cynthia:  Hello Kitty fashion.

Paris Hilton in a Hello Kitty Dress


Katy Perry Hello Kitty Show Costume


Cynthia:  Original Hello Kitty inspired art.


Hello Kitty Fanatic by Junko Mizuno
2014, Acrylic on Canvas


Cynthia: And tons of anecdotes, history, and analyses of Hello Kitty’s positive but sometimes controversial place in pop culture.



Cynthia:  Remember when we found out the startling news that Hello Kitty is not a cat?

Well, we also learned that Hello Kitty is all about Happiness, Friendship, and Social Communication. No wonder she’s been famous for forty years among women of all ages! She –

Marcy (interrupting):  How can she be about social communication if she doesn’t have a mouth?



Cynthia:  Ah ha. That was one of the controversial subjects addressed by the exhibit.

Apparently, anger over Hello Kitty’s lack of a mouth is an American hang up. The Japanese simply see her as an abstract cartoon in which a lack of a mouth means you can project your own feelings onto her.

Marcy:  I’m going to be as famous as Hello Kitty someday. And I’m not going to let anyone project their own feelings onto me. I’m loud and proud and opinionated.

Cynthia:  Great! Call me when you’ve made your millions.

Marcy:  No.


*If you are in Los Angeles and love cats and/or Japanese kawaii culture, this is a must-see exhibit. Click Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty at the Japanese American National Museum for more info.


*You Might Also Like:


Did YOU Know That Hello Kitty Is NOT A Cat?


Happy 40th Birthday, Hello Kitty: Seven Reasons Why 40 Is Super Duper



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  • Reply Anonymous March 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    How awesome that you got to go to that! You are many apples taller than Hello Kitty:) I just love Marcy's responses!!

  • Reply Anonymous March 3, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    It is amazing that a simple cartoon drawing could become so popular and have such staying power. Wish I knew the psychology behind it.

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch March 3, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Really good branding, I think. And money.

  • Reply Vik March 3, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Fun pic of you with your HK hat! Did Marcy have jealous fits when she saw it?

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch March 3, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you! Marcy is always in a jealous fit so it is hard to know!

  • Reply Ms. Phoebe March 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Oh Marcy and Cynthia I am so green with envy I could pass for the Wicked Witch (not a bad thing to me, she rules!)! I wish I could come to LA, see the exhibit during its last week and then attend CatCon the week after, in between shopping rodeo drive and stalking handsome gazillionaires… Is it really THAT unrealistic as my ever opinionated tortie Clove keeps telling me?!

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch March 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      No! Come to Cali! Torties think they know everything – lol

      You know, I was just thinking the other day that JANM should really hold over their Hello Kitty exhibit for a week or two in order to coincide with CatCon. I bet there will a lot of out-of-towners who will miss the exhibit.

      Ahhhh… wish you could make it out for the cat festivities!


  • Reply withwonderandwhimsy March 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Interesting. I never noticed Hello Kitty didn't have a mouth. I also find it interesting how Americans interpret that vs. the Japanese. I suppose I'm more with the Japanese on this one. Also, her style is so strong and diverse, that I feel like she still has a personality and "voice" through that.

    This exhibit looks like so much fun. I've seen a couple other posts on Hello Kitty-inspired fashion. I'm not sure if they're pictures from the same exhibit or what, but apparently I follow a lot of bloggers who share my love of Hello Kitty! If this exhibit came to a city near us, I'd totally go. I'm glad to hear that it's so comprehensive and covers so many facets of the Hello Kitty brand. Thanks for sharing!

    <3 Liz

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch March 4, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Ha! I never noticed that she didn't have a mouth either until it was pointed out to me. I will let you know if I hear that the exhibit is traveling anywhere.

      It really is crazy and wonderful how much love people have for Hello Kitty. I thought it was so much fun to see the stuff from the 1970's that I used to buy at a gift shop in my hometown. Who would have thought that the brand would get so big! I mean… she is everywhere and on everything. Crazy!


  • Reply Whimsical Preppy March 13, 2015 at 12:39 am

    All of your pictures are a lot of fun! That sounds like a great exhibit. Do you know if it is a traveling one?
    By the way, I just clicked on the ballet flats from your recent post and may add them to my wish list! I love Jessica Simpson flats and the cross over strap reminds me of a 1980's Nine West pair I had in high school! They also remind me of something Lauren Bacall would wear with her 40's circle skirts. What color are you going for? The black has a fun Beatnick look while the coffee color would go nicely with colors and floral prints.
    Are you affiliated in case I decide to buy them?

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch March 13, 2015 at 6:16 am

      Hi Stacey!

      I need to check to see if the Hello Kitty is a traveling exhibit. I feel like it is not – but I will find out and let you know. It really was a fantastic shoe. Even Freddy was impressed and he was NOT keen on going to begin with.

      I like the black ones and plan on getting those. But – I am also partial to the nude ones since they really do look like pointe shoes. I am affiliated. Just click on the link. That is soooo sweet of you!

      thank you!


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