The Disney of Japan, this company is responsible for the Hello Kitty phenomenon that's been going on there for the past 20 years.

Important milestones in the history of Sanrio include:

1960 (August 10th) Shintaro Tsuji legally incorporates the Yamanashi Silk Center Co., Ltd. with 1 million yen in capital in Gotanda, a suburb of Tokyo. His vision is to build a company based on his concept of social communication.

1962 The company's first official character, named Strawberry, is introduced in Tokyo.

1969 Sanrio's first non-Japanese store is opened in San Francisco USA, under the name The Strawberry Shop.

1973 (April) The growing company is re-established in Japan with a new name, Sanrio Company Co., Ltd., with 3.5 million yen in paid-up capital.

1974 (September) The now globally-loved Hello Kitty character is introduced, along with the more obscure Patty & Jimmy.

1975 (April) The first issue of the official Sanrio magazine, Ichigo Shimbun (The Strawberry News) is published in Japan.

1976 Sanrio, Inc. is incorporated in the USA and chooses San Jose, CA, as it's base of American operations.

1978 The company wins the Academy Award for best documentary with the film Who are the Debolts and Where Did They Get 19 Kids?

1979 (October) Sanrio, Inc. relocates stateside operations into a huge warehouse in San Francisco, where it remains to this day.

1980 (May) The company establishes it's first European subsidiary in West Germany.

1983 (October) The character Hello Kitty is made a child ambassador for the United Nations' UNICEF organisation. Kitty continues to make little children happy the world over.

1987 (January) The head office relocates to it's current head office at 6-1 Osaki 1-Chome, Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo 141 Japan (Tel: 03-3779-8111)

1990 (December) The company's first theme park, Sanrio Puroland opens in Tama, a western suburb of Tokyo. The attraction remains the epicentre of Sanrio otaku's interest to this day.

1991 (April) The company's second theme park, Sanrio Harmonyland opens in the hot-springs (onsen) resort town of Oita in southern Japan.

Sanrio employs over 1000 full-time workers in Japan, and nets over 121 billion yen per annum.

This is a node-in-progress.

SOURCES OF RESEARCH INCLUDE SANRIO CORPORATE MATERIALS, THE STRAWBERRY NEWS, JAPAN THE ROUGH GUIDE, AND THE NODIST'S OWN COLLECTION

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