Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty’s trek across the Pacific is an ethnography that shows how an anthropologist mainly focused on the growth of Hello Kitty throughout time. Throughout the book, we are able to see how Yano does her research based on Sanrio a Japanese company that has design merchandise that emphasis on the kawaii segment of Japanese popular culture. The anthropologist studies the creation of Hello Kitty and how it has developed through many parts of the world she explains how it has become very popular overseas. Christine R. Yano explicit argument is how the idea of pink globalization was one of the main factors that caused the worldwide fame of Hello Kitty. For example, in chapter two Yano states “Since 2002, Cool Japan has framed Japanese cute-cool in different ways as well providing father sustenance to the notion of pink globalization itself (Yano2013, 105). With the use of Kawaii (cute) the company Sanrio has been able to grow and expand itself internationally.
The company’s products have influenced many people into buying them making the company popular all around the world. The company was able to build based on the images they have created. With the good advertisement that the company did and the worldwide spread of the label of hello kitty, it has brought the attention overseas. For example, Yano states “That is why this book does not focus on cool Japan or Murakami Takashi’s Superflat, rather taking as its subject matter the large phenomenon of pink globalization, the spread of kawaii goods and images from Japan to other parts of the industrial world (Yano 2013, 263). Here we are able to see how the concept of pink globalization has been successful to Sanrio company in order to sell their products. With the use of good images and good products it has help the company grow in many ways. The company’s main focus is to keep expanding and becoming into a well know company worldwide. With the use of Japanese cool culture the company has branch out and has been recognized by its popularity in its products. Not only has Yano argue how Japanese companies connect with the idea of pink globalization but also argues that how the company’s use of Kawaii is to attract people.
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The products attract people because some feel a connection to the product and the design. Not only is the design meant for little girls but throughout the book, we are able to see how Yano discovers how the design can connect with housewives, students, Hispanic market, males and many more. In order for the company to sell their product they created a design that can connect with the consumers. They made every detail of the deign to represent something that can connect with each and every single consumer. For example, Yano states, “The combination of fine-tined design and connection with fans also becomes a template for the processes of production, marketing, and company ethos for both Sanrio in Japan and abroad.”(Yano 2013, 263). In order for the company to be known in America or anywhere around the world the Sanrio company had adjusted some of the Japanese’s company’s products to flatter the customers. The company’s main focus was to flatter the customers in order for the product to be sold by the company posting on YouTube gave them a big advantage because it a good outlet to advertise their product. Throughout the ethnography, Yano interviews people and is able to see how many people over time have built a connection to the design and products that Sanrio company has created hello kitty becomes a friend to her fans. Based on reading the book I feel that the book did not fully answer why the Sanrio pick Kawaii as a Japanese culture and emphasizes in their products. As well why would they try to flatter people in America when all throughout the book they show how Kawaiii in Japan is a popular culture.
Based on other readings I have done in class one that connects with the argument that Christine R. Yano had in Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific is the book Mirror for Humanity by Conrad Phillip Kottak. The chapter that connects more with Yano argument in chapter 11 The Modern World System. The reason why I believe that both these books’ argument connects is because in the book Mirror for Humanity it talks about the emerging of the world system. Both these books show how with the use of cultural interactions it has helped build and expand for their own benefits. In the book Mirror for Humanity by Conrad Philip Kottak it shows how international trade has helped result in the capitalist world economy. This connects to the book Pink Globalization because Sanrio company the Europeans were able to expand based on international trades to make their product more known and grow their business.