‘Hello Kitty’ and friends coming to Convention Center

For the first time in some 14 years, the world’s beloved Hello Kitty and Sanrio characters are making an appearance in Okinawa, where they’ll entertain not only children, but adults with songs and dance.

Hello Kitty is queen of cute.

Hello Kitty and friends will appear February 11th at the Okinawa Convention Center, coming from Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo.  For Sanrio fans, there will be opportunities at the two stages to get special original goods that cannot be purchased at normal Sanrio stores.  Check the Japan Update website, as Hello Kitty is giving Japan Update readers a chance to win two pairs of A-seat tickets for four people to the 11 a.m. show.

February 11th is a Japanese holiday, and doors open for the first stage at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan at 10:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. show.  A second stage has doors opening at 1:30 p.m. and the stage begins at 2 p.m.  Advance S-Seat reserved seating is available for ¥3,000, A-seat non-reserved seats are ¥2,000, and B-seat non-reserved seating is ¥1,000. Admission at the door Wednesday is an additional ¥500. Children, ages four and older, must have tickets. Tickets are available at FamilyMart e-plus, Lawson (L code: 82040), Co-op Apre, Ryubo Department Store, and Ryukyu Shinpo.

Hello Kitty’s little known full name is Kitty White and is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, created by Yuko Shimizu and currently designed by Yuko Yamaguchi. She is a little girl depicted as a white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow.  The character’s first appearance on an item, a vinyl coin purse, was introduced in Japan in 1974 and brought to the United States in 1976.

By 2010, Sanrio had groomed Hello Kitty into a global marketing phenomenon worth $5 billion a year. By 2014, when Hello Kitty was 40 years old, she was worth about $7 billion a year, all without any advertising. Originally aimed at pre-adolescent girls, Hello Kitty’s market has broadened to include adult consumers. She can be found on a variety of products ranging from school supplies to fashion accessories and high-end consumer products. Hello Kitty is also the main character at the two Japanese Sanrio theme parks, Harmonyland and the indoor Sanrio Puroland.

The latest engagement for Hello Kitty is all business, and all about money. She’s into Japanese coins, perching herself with a magnet on different coins, always continuing to look here cool self.  The new products are offered by Asunaro—sha, the Japanese character goods maker known for Gotochi Kitty line of regional limited-edition Hello Kitty goods from different parts of Japan.  The coins aren’t real, but they approximate the real deal, and Hello Kitty makes them simply adorable.