What better way is there to celebrate the birth of a Japanese icon than with Japanese sake? Today, we kampai to Hello Kitty, the “kawaii” (cute) Sanrio character that changed the world. Hello Kitty was created to bring founder Shintaro Tsuji’s motto, “Small gift, big smile!” to the masses. That same mission continues with this adorable, pink bottle of Hello Kitty sake! We’ll tell you all about this sweet nigori sake, but first, here are some fun facts you might not know about the Japanese superstar.
When is Hello Kitty’s birthday?
Hello Kitty’s official birthday is November 1, 1974. It was then that the cute white cat with a red bow first appeared on a small vinyl coin purse, sitting between a bottle of milk and a fishbowl in her signature blue overalls. Since then, she’s been made into just about every item you can think of: waffle makers, lamps, shoes, diamonds—even Hello Kitty wine! So it’s about time for a delicious Hello Kitty sake.
Is she really Japanese?
Well, yes and no. Hello Kitty as an icon was definitely made in Japan, but her backstory as a character is a little different. According to Sanrio, her real name is actually Kitty White and she’s British. Her parents are George and Mary White, and she has a twin sister named Mimmy. At the time of her creation in the ’70s, people in Japan were obsessed with British culture, so it was decided that Kitty would be a London girl.
How tall is Hello Kitty?
Kitty is 5 apples tall and weighs 3 apples. She is blood type A, and being born on November 1 makes her a Scorpio. While we’re at it, there is another very important matter to clear up: Hello Kitty isn’t a cat! Her creators shocked the world with that revelation just a few years ago. Sanrio insists that she is not a cat, but just a cartoon girl who happens to look like a cat. (And that’s not confusing at all…)
Was she an instant success?
In Japan, Kitty became a hit relatively quickly, but the same was not so when she went overseas. Sanrio had a difficult time getting their beloved character to catch on in the United States. First, they tried the old-fashioned way of advertising and went door to door trying to sell this lovable character. While she had some traction amongst Asian-Americans, it took a long time before she became popular with the overall population. Of course, all of that is ancient history by now, because the whole world now knows she is one of the most popular characters of all time!
What makes this nigori the perfect Hello Kitty sake?
The soft pink color and flowery label gives this commemorative sake bottle the right look, but the perfect Hello Kitty sake must also have a taste that reminds the drinker of this sweet, innocent little character. With notes of strawberry and cream, this cloudy sake from Hakutsuru Brewing Company definitely fits the bill. This rich, sweet sake is made with carefully selected rice grain, koji, and natural spring water from Mount Rokko in Hyogo Prefecture’s Kinki region. Serve this nigori cold alongside some meat or seafood, and toast to Hello Kitty’s birthday to celebrate all the joy she continues to bring to millions of people around the world!
Want to learn more about sake? Visit our Sake Guide!