An Evening with the Shade of Chief Dan George



Lost In Translation

I wasn’t really planning on doing anything like this since I am working on another piece for this ill-tended blog I call “my little brain cramp”, but I could not let this go. Reports are circulating that the iconic cartoon character from Japan, Hello Kitty, was defined by parent company, Sanrio, not as a cat, but as a “little girl”. WTF!!!

Now, as someone who lived in Japan in the early days as HK was making her way into the world’s consciousness, I have an affinity for the character that most American males would not admit (I don’t want to hear about bronies because… gross!) The article that tipped me off about this was followed up by this one:

© Sanrio or whatever.  I drew this, that's right, because I am a professional artist!  There's even a tutorial I made on how to do this!

© Sanrio or whatever. I drew this, that’s right, because I am a professional artist! There’s even a tutorial I made on how to do this!

So, it seems to me, after reading that explanation, that there is a bit of conceptual and maybe even a little linguistic confusion on how to present this unique philosophy that only the Japanese would wrestle with. While Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny and Foghorn Leghorn weren’t presented as real representations of their particular species, they were never presented to the public as “boys”. It’s understood that they are males just as it’s understood that Hello Kitty is a female cat, but CAT, nevertheless!

Although maybe my initial reaction to this whole revelation was a bit extreme: the creative powers that be at Sanrio were all smoking crack!