60th Anniversary Sanrio Exhibition: The Beginning of Kawaii to Open at Roppongi Hills

25.July.2021 | 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 recently finished up at the Matsuzakaya Art Gallery in Nagoya on June 12 and is set to move to Ōita Prefectural Art Museum where it will run from July 10 to September 5 before heading to TOKYO CITY VIEW. 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.

 

Sebastian Masuda’s iconic artwork is the centrepiece of the exhibition

 

Entrance exhibit in the daytime

At the entrance of the venue is the Unforgettable Tower, a symbolic art piece by Sebastian Masuda created exclusively for this exhibition which towers 6 meters tall. It’s made up of countless plushies of Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty.

Entrance exhibit in the evening

The kawaii installation stands gorgeously against the cityscape of Tokyo which makes for an Instagrammable photo in the evenings when the city is lit up. The piece, as its name suggests, hopes to create unforgettable memories. The exhibition is set to run through Halloween, Christmas, and New Year, so visitors are sure to make some memorable ones.


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

 

Shouta Aoi’s voice as the tour guide

Having lent his voice to other Sanrio events, including at Sanrio Puroland and in collaboration with the Little Twin Stars, the Japanese singer, actor, and voice actor Shouta Aoi has recorded announcements for the exhibition which will be played to guide people around the event.

 

A themed menu created for the Tokyo exhibition

From Left: Anniversary Afternoon Tea / Hello Kitty Daisuki Fried Apple Mille-Feuille / Cinnamoroll’s Balloon Trip

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

THE SUN & THE MOON, a cafe and restaurant fusion on the same floor of the exhibition, will serve up food, desserts, and non-alcoholic cocktails inspired by the Sanrio characters. Special seasonal afternoon tea sets will also be sold on Halloween, Christmas, and more too.

 

Dates
Restaurant: September 17, 2021 – January 10, 2022

Cafe: December 15, 2021 – January 10, 2021

*Closed December 21-26

 

The main exhibition

The exhibition will be split into six zones with 10 different themes. 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. It’s a chance to walk through the history of Sanrio and Japan’s culture of kawaii.

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

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

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

One of the six zones will look into secrets of Sanrio through the globally-beloved kawaii icon Hello Kitty. Another will display outfits such as the Hello Kitty dress worn by Lady Gaga.

 

Original merchandise

A small peek at just some of the items available

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

Sanrio fans can also get their hands on a collection of merchandise with designs ranging from the exhibition’s main visual to classic designs. There will be over 100 items to sift through.

 

Tickets for the exhibition will be available from August 1. A limited number of special tickets that include free merch will also be released.

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

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    National Treasure. Maple Tree. Hasegawa Tohaku. (Four of Six Sides) Momoyama Period / 16th Century.

    Chishakuin Temple. [On display during the entire exhibition.]



    Chishakuin Temple is located in Higashiyama, Kyoto, and is the headquarters of the Chisan School of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism. This originated with Kobo Daishi (774-835), and the sect now has 3,000 temples around Japan. Founded during the Muromachi period (1095-1143) the temple was originally built in Wakayama Prefecture in memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s son Sutemaru, but the builds were brought to Kyoto in 1598 on the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

     

    Kobo Daishi Scroll

    Muromachi Period, First Year of Bun’an Era (1444)

    [On Display from November 30 until December 26, 2022]

    Kyoto Prefecture Designated Tangible Cultural Property –  Kogyo Daishi Scroll

    Kamakura Period / 13th Century

    [On Display from November 30 until December 26, 2022]

    National Treasure. Cherry Blossoms. Hasegawa Tohaku. (Four of Five Sides) Momoyama Period / 16th Century.

    [On display during the entire exhibition.]

     


    The temple is best known today for its panel paintings and gardens, the latter of which was inspired by tea master Sen-no-Rikyu. Half of the original paintings remain, with some having been lost to fire and some simply being degraded over time. 

    National Treasure. Diamond Sutra (Partial) – Zhang Jizhi

    Southern Song Dynasty, First Year of Houyuu (1253)

    [On display during the entire exhibition]

    Important Cultural Property. Mahamayuri Scroll.

    Kamakura Period / 14th Century

    [On Display from December 28, 2022 until January 22, 2023]

    Important Cultural Property. Green Maple and Waterfall. Song Dynasty / 13th Century

    [On Display from November 30 until December 26, 2022]

    Ladies at Tea. Insho Domoto. 4 sides. Showa 33 (1958)

    [On display during the entire exhibition]

     

    This exhibition will mark the first time that many of the paintings are shown simultaneously outside of the temple, including Cherry Blossoms, Maple Tree, and Pine Tree with Autumn Plants. Visitors can also enjoy National Treasures and items from the temple’s treasure trove of Buddhist Art. Would you like to come and browse these incredible pieces?

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