Sanrio: Wikis


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Sanrio Co., Ltd.
Type Public (TYO: 8136)
Founded 1960
Founder(s) Shintaro Tsuji
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Sanrio products stand at a commercial convention

Sanrio Co., Ltd. (株式会社サンリオ Kabushiki-kaisha Sanrio ?) is a Japanese company that designs and licenses cute branded characters. Their products include stationery, school supplies, gifts and accessories. Sanrio's best known character is Hello Kitty, a white cat with red bow and no visible mouth, one of the most successful marketing brands in the world.[1]

Besides selling character goods, Sanrio also takes part in movie production and publishing. Furthermore, they participate in the fast food industry, running a franchise of KFC in Saitama. They also own the rights to the Peanuts characters in Japan. Sanrio also has an animatronics company branch called Kokoro Company, Ltd. ("Kokoro" being the Japanese word for "heart"), best known for the Actroid android.



Sanrio was founded by Shintaro Tsuji as the Yamanashi Silk Company in 1960, using 1 million yen in capital. The company produced a line of character merchandise around gift-giving occasions[2]. It wasn't until 1973 that the company was officially established under the name "Sanrio." The word Sanrio comes from the Japanese word "San" and the Spanish one "Rio". These words mean "three" and "river" respectively.

Hello Kitty was added to the early characters of Sanrio in 1974 and was released in 1975. The popular mouthless feline has had both peaks and drops in sales over the years, but always has been the highest contributor to Sanrio's sales. Other notably popular characters through the years have been The Little Twin Stars (created by Mr. Tsuji himself), My Melody, Keroppi, Tuxedo Sam, Badtz-Maru, Tenorikuma, Usahana, Pochacco, Chococat, and Cinnamoroll. Sanrio constantly adds new characters to its lineup (up to three a year), so some of the older characters go into retirement. Some of Sanrio's newest characters are Charmmy Kitty (Hello Kitty's pet cat), Kuromi (My Melody's rival) and Chi Chai Monchan (a pink monkey who balances bananas on his head.) For a time, Osamu Tezuka's baby unicorn character Unico, who starred in two feature-length anime movies in the early 1980s, was also part of the Sanrio empire; however, the rights to Unico shifted to Tezuka's own company after Tezuka's death in 1989.

Sanrio is the largest greeting card manufacturer in Japan. In 2002, they began a joint business venture with the Walt Disney Company for their greeting cards.

In late 2003, Sanrio won the "Top Brand with a Conscience" award from the Medinge Group of Sweden for its communication principles. The company has partnered with UNICEF since 1984.

In 2006, Sanrio went Digital with a joint venture with Typhoon Games and launched Sanrio Digital to expand its brand and revenues through the Internet, Online Games and Mobile Services.

The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends is the first Hello Kitty TV series animation in 3D. The animation is licensed by Sanrio Digital and produced by Dream Cortex. The first season with 26 episodes aired on networks in Europe and Asia, including Hong Kong, beginning in 2008.


Sanrio, Inc. headquarters in South San Francisco

Sanrio hosts two theme parks in Japan, Sanrio Puroland in Tama, Tokyo, and Harmonyland [3] in Hiji, Ōita, Kyūshū.

Sanrio Inc. is Sanrio's American subsidiary. Sanrio Inc. has offices in South San Francisco, California and Torrance, California. Sanrio's first Western hemisphere store opened in San Jose's Eastridge Mall. In 2008, Sanrio opened its high-end boutique called Sanrio Luxe in New York City's Times Square. In the Western Hemisphere, SANRIO character-branded products are sold in upwards of 12,000 locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 85 Sanrio boutiques.

Sanrio characters

Sanrio character Hello Kitty depicted on a bus

Sario has created a large number of characters, the most well known of which is Hello Kitty. Other well known characters include Badtz-Maru, Chococat and My Melody. Sugarbunnies were adapted into an anime series in 2007.


From 1977 to 1985, Sanrio produced movies through their Sanrio Films label. After A Journey Through Fairyland Sanrio switched gears and started doing short films, OAVs, and TV shows based on their characters. In 2006, Sanrio announced they're going to do feature-length films again.


Sanrio publishes many books featuring its own characters. Additionally, they publish art books (for instance, those by Keibun Ōta) and other books. Sanrio publishes books in many different languages, including Japanese and English. Sanrio published video games in the early 1990s under the name Character Soft.


Further reading

  • Kinsella, Sharon. "CUTIES IN JAPAN", published in "Women Media and Consumption in Japan", Lise Skov & Brian Moeran eds., 1995

External links


Simple English

Sanrio Co., Ltd. TYO: 8136 is a Japanese company that makes characters and sells and licenses products with images of these characters. The things they make include stationery (pencils, pens writing paper etc), school supplies and gifts. Sanrio's best known character is Hello Kitty, a white cat with red bow and no mouth. Hello Kitty is one of the most successful marketing brands in the world.

File:Stand Noguera Kitty
Sanrio products being advertised at a convention. The shape of Hello Kitty's head can be seen with the bow on her head

Sanrio was started by Shintaro Tsuji as the Yamanashi Silk Company in 1960. In 1973 the company changed its name to "Sanrio." The word Sanrio comes from "san" (meaning three in Japanese) and "río" (meaning river in Spanish"). He named the company Sanrio to join the three rivers of the world.

Besides selling their character goods, Sanrio also takes part in movie production and publishing. They makes lots of greeting cards.

The company has worked with UNICEF since 1984.

Sanrio also has two theme parks in Japan, Sanrio Puroland in Tama, Tokyo, and Harmonyland [1]in Hiji, Ōita, Kyūshū.

Sanrio Characters

  • Badtz-Maru
  • Bunny and Mattie
  • Button Nose
  • Charmmy Kitty
  • Cheery Chums
  • Chibi-maru
  • Chi Chai Monchan
  • Chirin
  • Chococat
  • Cinnamoroll
  • Cinnamoangels
  • Coro Coro Kuririn
  • Dear Daniel
  • Deery Lou
  • Den Den
  • Doki Doki Yummychums
  • Fairy Florence
  • Flint the Time Detective
  • Frooliemew
  • Hangyodon
  • Hello Kitty
  • Hoshinowaguma
  • Jumbo
  • Keroppi Hasunoue
  • Kuromi
  • Landry
  • Little Twin Stars
  • Marron Cream
  • Masyumaro
  • Mimmy
  • Monkichi
  • My Melody
  • Nyago
  • Pandapple
  • Pankunchi
  • Patapatapeppy
  • Patty & Jimmy
  • Pekkle
  • Picke Bicke
  • Pink no Corisu
  • Pinki Lili
  • Pippo
  • Pochacco
  • Pokopon
  • Purin
  • Pururun Kyupi
  • Robowan
  • Ruby
  • Shinkansen
  • Spottie Dottie
  • Spunky Burro (first Sanrio character)
  • Strawberry King
  • Sugarbunnies
  • Sweet Coron
  • Tabo
  • Tenorikuma
  • Tuxedo Sam
  • Unico (formerly with Osamu Tezuka)
  • U*SA*HA*NA
  • Winkipinki
  • Zashikibuta

Other webs


  1. Harmonyland


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