Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Within the United States, my travels have been extensive, although not
all of the travels have been focused on Hello Kitty. The list of places outside the
United States includes Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán; Vancou-
ver; Buenos Aires; São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; London; Paris; Rome, Florence,
Siena, and Venice; Berlin and Heidelberg; Beijing; Seoul; Delhi; Kathmandu; and
2. Although the South San Francisco office is still important, since around
2010, U.S. operations have shifted increasingly to Sanrio offices in Los Angeles.
Also, Nakajima USA has increasingly taken over control of many of the Sanrio
stores and operations in the United States, beginning in 1988 but with greater
definition since 2004, when it became the principal licensee and primary part-
ner of Sanrio boutique stores.
3. Sanrio stores in Japan give away a free newsletter, Ichigo Shimbun (Straw-
berry news), which provides information on new items for sale. Sanrio in Japan
also publishes a quarterly glossy magazine Kitty Goods Collection, with new
products, events, fan comments, and articles at a cost of 600 700 yen each
($7.25 $8.50).
4. Since 2010, Sanrio has been selling their own doc-certified (Vino a
Denominazione di Origine Controllata) Hello Kitty wine with the tagline “Our
favorite girl has grown up.” According to Drew Hibbert, ceo for Innovation
Spirits, which distributes the wines in the United States, “Hello Kitty Wines
were originally conceived by Camomilla S.p.A. which is a very successful fashion
company in Italy that does a huge amount of business manufacturing and
selling Hello Kitty licensed merchandise in Italy and beyond. Camomilla S.p.A.
partnered up with Torti ‘Tenimenti Castelrotto’ boutique Italian winery located
in the highly regarded Lombardy wine region” (Alimrung 2010). Here are the
tasting notes for the four varieties of Hello Kitty wines:
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