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The History of Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio and first designed by Yuko Shimizu. According to official character profiles for Hello Kitty, her real name is Kitty White, and she was born in the suburbs of London, England on 1 November. She appeared in Japan in 1974 and was brought to the United States in 1976. The first item featuring this famous white bobtail cat was a vinyl coin purse.

Have you ever thought that she doesn’t have a mouth and wondered why? Yuko Yamaguchi, the current official designer of Hello Kitty, entertained this question when Time Magazineinterviewed her:

“It’s so that people who look at her can project their own feelings onto her face, because she has an expressionless face. Kitty looks happy when people are happy. She looks sad when they are sad. For this psychological reason, we thought she shouldn’t be tied to any emotion – and that’s why she doesn’t have a mouth.”

Manga characters in general are very innocent and subtle. Manga can be translated as “whimsical drawings” and consist of comics and print cartoons. These drawings have a long history dating back to 10th century, where depictions of animals were drawn as being part of the upper class. Eventually, these scrolls went on to be known as the Chōjū giga or “The Animal Scrolls.”

In Japan, people of all ages read manga. There are also manga cafés, or manga kissa (kissa is an abbreviation of kissaten). At a manga kissa, people drink coffee and read manga and sometimes stay there overnight. Manga represent pieces of Japanese culture and history because they take part in everyday life dealing with politics, religion, economy, family and gender and integrate it to create their stories.

Manga-influenced comics, among original works, exist in other parts of the world, particularly in Taiwan (“manhua”), South Korea (“manhwa”) and China, notably Hong Kong (“manhua”). In France, “la nouvelle manga” has developed as a form of bande dessinée (literally drawn strip) drawn in styles influenced by Japanese manga. In the United States, people refer to what they perceive as manga “styled” comics as Amerimanga, world manga, or original English-language manga (OEL manga).

What’s the secret of Manga success? In the case of Hello Kitty, she speaks from her heart; she’s Sanrio‘s ambassador to the world and isn’t bound to any particular language. Even if we are in the era of high tech story lines and fancy 3D, people are still in love with the simplicity of the fables.

By | October 25th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

10 Things to Avoid Carrying in Your Suitcase

With Christmas approaching, many choose to fly to reunite with their families over the festive season. The last thing you want is to be held up by customs when there are queues after queues at the airport.

Our findings show that you should stay away from these items in your suitcase as apparently when passing the luggage through the x-ray machines, these can be mistakenly “seen” as harmful or illicit objects hence set off the alarm!

  1. Christmas Pudding
  2. Cheese (especially hard cheese)
  3. Folding pocket knife (metal)
  4. Marzipan
  5. Snowglobe
  6. Turkish/Greek delight
  7. Gel shoe insert
  8. Blocks of chocolate
  9. Peanut Butter/Jam
  10. Frozen breastmilk (please check with the authorities before you fly)
By | October 25th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Taxishare – Fab App or Pushing the Legal Boundary?

Students from the University of Hong Kong have recently launched a cheeky yet money-saving app to combat the soaring inflation rates in Hong Kong.

An app called TaxiShare detects other pedestrians that are waiting for taxis within 250 metres of you so that you can split the fare. The app was only made available on 5 October and can be downloaded free of charge on iPhone, iPad and Android phones.

Students strongly believe that it is a money-saving tool given the rise in public transportation in Hong Kong. This is particularly true if you aim to travel long distance, say from Hong Kong Island to the New Territories. The app may save passengers up to 80% of the fare if five passengers are travelling instead of one and are heading to the same destination.

Surprisingly, only passengers have the say of who they want to share a taxi with. If taxi drivers use this to attract passengers, they will actually be falling foul of the law; in Hong Kong, taxi drivers are not allowed to choose customers based on distance and race as part of their code of conduct.

By | October 24th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments
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