Hello Kitty Show Has Dour Insurance Brokers Squealing "Kawaii"
Japan cat stuff
hello kitty maebashi
hello kitty hakodate

Hello Kitty is the subject of an unlikely collaborative show at Fukoku Life Insurance Company in central Tokyo. The austere lobby of the company's headquarters is currently overloading on kawaii, as Hello Kitty characters don cosplay outfits to represent Fukoku's 62 regional branches.

hello kitty room1
hello kitty room2
hello kitty kagoshima
hello kitty sapporo

The exhibition is fronted by a traditional noren curtain with a family crest of Hello Kitty at the door. The 62 illustrations are mounted in the air above a grid-like map of Japan.

Here's Hello Kitty in the port city of Kobe wearing a sailor outfit and waving a semaphore signal. Or in South Osaka in a manzai (standup comic) outfit of loud jacket, big bowtie and paper fan. Or wearing mascot suits - a squid for Hakodate and a black pig for Kagoshima.

hello kitty osakasouth
Osaka south
hello kitty osakanorth
Osaka north
hello kitty kobe
hello kitty oita
hello kitty nagoya

Our favorites were Sapporo, with Hello Kitty airborne as a ski jumper, and North Osaka, with the cute cat wearing a takoyaki (octopus ball) hat and holding a boiled octopus and grill. Even insurance-broker salarymen could be heard exclaiming "So cute!".

The Hello Kitty exhibition can be seen during weekday business hours at Fukoku Seimei Building, Uchisaiwaicho 2-2-2, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, through June 30, 2015. All images used here are from photographs taken at the exhibition.


Cat-themed coffee and tea mug from artist Atsuko Matano
Perfectly innocent, or up to a bit of mischief - you be the judge. Artist Atsuko Matano's expressive cat illustrations add a charming touch to this coffee and tea mug. There are different illustrations on the front and back of the limited-edition mug, with the artist's signature on the bottom.

Designed and made in Japan.
PRICE: US$15, €13