Media & Society

Hello Kitty is Not a Cat, But Doraemon is

In this Aug. 23, 2013 file photo, Doraemon, one of the most popular animation characters in Japan, participates in a kick-off ceremony of the Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when Tokyo is bidding against Istanbul and Madrid to host the 2020 Olympics. Characters are not just for kids in Japan, but a part of business and social life. Some see Japan’s cute-craze, known as “kawaii,” as a sign of immaturity, but others say it’s rooted in a harmony-centered way of life that goes back to ancient animist traditions. Hello Kitty and Doraemon now face hordes of newcomers, many launched by municipal governments to promote tourism and local products. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
In this Aug. 23, 2013 file photo, Doraemon, one of the most popular animation characters in Japan, participates in a kick-off ceremony of the Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when Tokyo is bidding against Istanbul and Madrid to host the 2020 Olympics. Characters are not just for kids in Japan, but a part of business and social life. Some see Japan’s cute-craze, known as “kawaii,” as a sign of immaturity, but others say it’s rooted in a harmony-centered way of life that goes back to ancient animist traditions. Hello Kitty and Doraemon now face hordes of newcomers, many launched by municipal governments to promote tourism and local products. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

TOKYO—Hello Kitty, whom many learned last week is a girl and not a cat, may be the queen of Japan’s cute characters, but she’s hardly...




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