Mukoku- Kitty: The Postmodern Cat

Hello Kitty Airplane-704368

Hello Kitty is one of the most recognizable characters of Japanese cool.  Created in 1974, Kitty-chan merchandise has been marketed worldwide to children and adults alike, and she was recently named the Ambassador of Tourism for Japan.  So what is so special about this kitty?  What exactly are Americans consuming when we take part in the Kitty Boom?  Are we buying Japan, or is it just cute? [Read more…]

Ingrid Heiberg


My name is Ingrid Heiberg, and I am a junior majoring in French and Literary and Cultural Studies (film track) here at William and Mary. So what is a French major doing in a class about Japanese culture? Aside from my true love for Hello Kitty and all things Sanrio, I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture, and I am excited to learn why. I have studied Japanese at William and Mary since freshman year, and I also had the opportunity to work with Japanese students from Keio University in Tokyo when they came to visit the U.S. and complete a cultural studies project comparing Japan and America. Working with these students really solidified my love for Japanese culture: Japan is no longer a cool, faraway place to me, but rather home to several of my friends. Because I am also a cultural studies major, I am excited to see how cultural studies applies to one of my favorite places to study!