Yano, has moved Hello Kitty into a new light by digging below the surface and giving the pop culture icon her full academic due. If popular culture is prone to disposable (mostly Eastern) heroes and fads (e.g., Pokemon, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, etc.), Hello Kitty is the exception to the rule. She has dominated from East to West, in her native home of Japan all the way to Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Integrated as part of Japan’s “cute” culture (kawaii), Hello Kitty has a history all her own.