Sanrio Announces 60th Anniversary Exhibition ‘The Beginning of Kawaii’

27.April.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION / SPOT

From Hello Kitty to Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, My Melody, and more – Sanrio’s internationally adored cast of characters can be universally agreed to be representatives of Japan culture of ‘kawaii.’ In celebration of Sanrio’s 60th anniversary, the company have announced an exhibition centred on the beginning of kawaii culture. The event will take place at TOKYO CITY VIEW from September 17, 2021 to January 10, 2022.

 

60th Anniversary Sanrio Exhibition: The Beginning of Kawaii is currently taking place at Matsuzakaya Art Gallery in Nagoya until June 12 and will move to Ōita Prefectural Art Museum where it will run from July 10 to September 5 before heading to TOKYO CITY VIEW.

 

© 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. SP610376

This exhibition will not only look back over Sanrio’s 60-year history, but will also dive into how Japan’s culture of ‘kawaii’ came about. Fans of Sanrio and Japan’s kawaii can expect product and design showcases, in-depth explanations, and more.

 

Over 800 products, documents, and materials related to Sanrio will be presented, many of which will shine a spotlight on some of their most famous characters out of their roster of 400, such as Hello Kitty and My Melody, and other characters that might not be known to those outside Japan such as best friends Patty & Jimmy.

 

What to look out for at Sanrio’s 60th anniversary exhibition

Unforgettable Tower by Sebastian Masuda

Sebastian Masuda, a pioneer of kawaii culture, will showcase his symbolic art pieces at the event at TOKYO CITY VIEW’s observation deck, combining his iconic work against a breathtaking background.

 

The Beginning of Kawaii

Learn about the history of Sanrio’s culture of kawaii, beginning as a service to ‘move people’s hearts’ through gifts and products. Visitors will get a chance to see the secrets of Sanrio’s iconic style which draw a line under fancy products from other companies.

 

There will also be a chance to see Japanese illustrators Takashi Yanase, Ado Mizumori, and Rune Naito’s work with Sanrio.

 

The Birth of the Characters

What makes something kawaii or not kawaii? Why do characters not necessarily need to have a story to become so popular? These questions are more will be answered as the exhibition looks at the birth of Sanrio’s characters.

 

Sanrio’s Characters

How did their hit characters come to be? During the 1980’s, Japan was a warzone for characters. Sanrio changed how characters became popular, moving from characters that were popular with everyone to creating characters that people wanted for themselves – their own personal characters. Discover how Sanrio’s long list of characters came about, including ones that have stood the test of time and ones that have declined in popularity.

 

Ichigo Shimbun

Ichigo Shimbun is a magazine published by Sanrio all about Sanrio and their characters – a familiar read to all fans in Japan. The magazine will be featured at the exhibition.

 

Hello Kitty: The Character Who Turned Into a Global Icon

Hello Kitty is known the world over, with even Lady Gaga having worn a dress of Hello Kitty plush toys in the past. This dress will be exhibited at the event, amongst many other things related to Sanrio’s global idol.

 

A Battle Between Artists

Artists from various artistic background will participate in the exhibition by creating a range of different Sanrio works. Participating artists and their specialities include Ryūsuke Fukahori (objects), Hajime Nakatomi (bamboo art), Takaya Mori (sculptor), Mio Hashimoto (sculptor), and Risa Fukui (paper cut-outs).

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