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Meet Hello Kitty


Photo by Christian Lau licensed CC BY 2.0

Just the Fast Facts!

How did she start out?

Hello Kitty’s real name is Kitty White, or Kitī Howaito in Japanese. She's a cute eight-year-old who happens to be a huge pop culture icon (that means she's really famous) that is beloved by people all over the world.

In spite of her fame, she is a happy and down-to-earth girl who lives a quiet life with her mom, dad (also known as Mary and George White) and sister Mimmy in a small house outside of London, U.K. She’s also close with her grandparents, Anthony and Margaret.


Hello Kitty's family: Mimmy White, George White, Mary White, Anthony and Margaret.

She has pets too! She has Charmmy Kitty, a pet Persian cat given to her by her dad and Sugar, a hamster given to her by Dear Daniel (his real name is Daniel Starr), her childhood friend.


Hello Kitty stickers
Photo by Katey licensed CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

She values friendships and meeting new people. In fact, her favourite saying is, “you can never have too many friends.” And that’s true because she’s got many friends from all different backgrounds. Best of all, she considers her sister Mimmy to be her best friend!

Hello Kitty loves to travel, but when she’s in school her favourite subjects are: English, music and art. Her dream is to be a pianist, just like her mom, so she practices on her grand piano every day.

Hello Kitty’s World

In Hello Kitty’s world, she never grows up. She will always be a third grader. But she’s been around for quite some time — almost 50 years! She first appeared on a vinyl coin purse in 1974.

Even though she is a little girl (cats don’t wear clothes or stand on two feet!), she was designed after the Japanese bobtail cat.


Masao Gunji stands in his room full of Hello Kitty memorabilia.
Hello Kitty’s biggest fan is Masao Gunji, a retired police officer, from Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest Hello Kitty Collection. (Photo by Taro Karibe/Getty Images)

Hello Kitty is adored by fans of all ages because she is so cute! In Japan, the word cute is kawaii (say "kah-wah-ee"). You can see her image on toys, clothing, fashion accessories, food, flower bouquets — even an airplane! And get this: a retired Japanese police officer holds the Guiness Book of World Records for the world’s largest Hello Kitty collection. He’s been collecting for over 30 years! How is that for kawaii?

A super quick Hello Kitty quiz