More than just a cat

Hello Kitty memorabilia stores are all over Japan. The world-famous mouthless cat is printed on sorts of collectibles. In a huge Hello Kitty store I visited in downtown Osaka, there was a corner of Hello Kitty collectibles that intrigued me. The collectibles were a quirky fusion of Hello Kitty, Japan’s most famous fictional character, with quintessential japanese food, mythical folklore creatures and famous Japanese landmarks. The possibilities are abundant and the result is sometimes pretty, sometimes strange. While I did not purchase any of them because they were kind of expensive, I (sneakily) took shots of some of them.


Hello Kitty edamame in varying shades of green.
Would you eat a gyoza printed with Hello Kitty on it if it does exist? This could be a business idea with all these novelty food trends taking flight these days. And yes, these tiny Hello Kitty memorabilia do not come cheap.
Lying on a bed of Okonomiyaki, Osaka’s famous dish.
It’s a Hello Kitty shinkansen (bullet train).
Here, Hello Kitty appears as a kappa, which is a mischievous water imp from Japanese folklore – a fusion of modern and ancient fictional characters.
Hello Kitty dressed up in Hanshin Tigers baseball uniform! I love how they look so professional in their poses.
You don’t want to mess with a Hello Kitty ninja, but I’m not sure if I could take a ninja with a red ribbon seriously.
Someone please help this poor cat with her head stuck in a building.
Kitty cat saying “Hello!” from a gassho-zukuri farmhouse unique to Shirakawago!
A cat or a racoon dog? A Hello Kitty dressed up as a Tanuki, which is an animal with shape-shifting abilities in Japanese folklore. Tanuki statues are commonly seen outside Japanese homes and shops.
Hello Kitty cradled in Buddha’s arms. This one takes the cake in terms of strangeness.

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