We have heard of people selling their souls to the devil and companies that are associated with satanic forces. However, how true are such stories and can we even prove their credibility? One such rumor has been the story behind the creation of Hello Kitty logo with the myth going on about a woman who owed Satan. The myth has so far been rubbished off, and the real story behind Hello Kitty logo cannot be complete without mentioning Yuko Shimizu. So let’s get to know how she came up with the idea and what the logo has been used to symbolize over the years.
The Myth of Hello Kitty Creation
According to Scary for Kids, the legend behind the Hello Kitty logo is that it pays homage to the devil. It is believed that one woman had a 14-year-old who was diagnosed with mouth cancer. Doctors told the woman her daughter was terminally ill; hence there was nothing they could do to help her. The woman was a Christian who had faith that God would heal her daughter. She prayed earnestly in any church she could find for a miracle, but none was performed. Eventually, she turned to devil worship, believing at least he could do something to help her daughter. They say nothing free comes from the devil, so he said he would heal the woman’s daughter, but she would have to do something in return. The devil told the desperate parent that she would have to create a cartoon character that would appeal to children globally so that they would without their knowledge be worshipping him. At this point, she would have done anything, so she made the pact with him, and upon her daughter’s healing, the woman went ahead to create Hello Kitty. It is believed that the character’s ears represent the Devil’s horns. The name is also said to be demonic since in Chinese, “Kitty” means “Devil” so, in essence, the woman created “Hello Devil.” Thus anyone who buys an item with the image is essentially welcoming the devil into their home. Further, devil worshippers now claim that “Hello Kitty” means “daughter of the devil.” While all these are myths, some people have come to believe the story and according to Hello Kitty Problems, have thrown out Hello Kitty toys saying they are affiliated with Satanism.
Why was Hello Kitty Created?
You can start seeing the issue with the myth from the fact that “Kitty” does not mean “the Devil” in Chinese. Therefore, let’s pay tribute to the woman, Yuko Shimizu who according to Tokyo Treat was one of the cartoonists hired by Sanrio to design cute characters for the company’s merchandise. The first-ever Hello Kitty logo appeared in a purse, and it featured a fishbowl, a milk bottle and the Hello Kitty image. That debut came in 1974, and it was introduced to the United States in 1976.
However, this famous cartoon character may have never seen the light of day if Shimizu had followed her parents’ wishes. Growing up in Tokyo, Shimizu was surrounded by Anime and Manga and knew that one could earn a living from their artistic skills. Her father was a businessman while her mum was a housewife, and they both did not like the idea of their daughter pursuing art. The only person they knew of was Van Gogh, and his life story was not an example of what they wanted for their daughter. Still, Shimizu started drawing, but with lack of support, she gave up on art and chose to pursue advertising. By this time, her artistic talents had already proven through the Hello Kitty image; while it debuted in 1974, Shimizu says that her first job as a professional illustrator was in 2002.
Interesting Facts about Hello Kitty
You might have noticed that the adorable cartoon character does not have a mouth. It is not an oversight on the side of the designer. Of course, myths were bound to be floated around to explain the absence of the mouth. One of them, as detailed by Hello Kitty Guide, is that since the desperate woman’s daughter had mouth cancer, it was only appropriate for the image created to lack a mouth, in commemoration. However, that has been disregarded, and Shimizu had her own reasons for not incorporating a mouth in the drawing. She did not want the character to be associated with only certain emotions by depicting a frown or smile. Therefore, by leaving out the mouth, she reasoned that whoever saw the cartoon would relate it to whatever feelings they had at the moment making hello Kitty an understanding friend to all. The design mostly appeals to females of all ages, not just because of the emotional connection but the physical appearance of the character as well. In Japan, girls are depicted to have big round eyes, small nose and a small mouth all of which Hello Kitty have, except of course in her case the mouth is absent. Her depiction in pink has been translated differently; some believe it shows the fragility of women, especially in the Japanese culture but in America, pink shows feminine strength. With “kitty” referring to cats, it is understandable for people to think that Hello Kitty is a cat. However, that is one misconception that Inc.com helps to clear up, saying that it is not a cat but a little girl. According to the article Christine Yano, a Hello Kitty enthusiast, was corrected by Sanrio when she referred to Hello Kitty as a cat. The company explained that the cartoon character is a perpetual third-grader girl who walks on two legs. She does not eat cat food and only performs human duties. The character even has her own pet cat named Charmmy Kitty and a twin sister. Christine also learned that Hello Kitty is British, and her real name is Kitty White.