There are some things that are very much associated with Japan, like bullet trains and Hello Kitty. And now the two have come together. West Japan Railway Co. has just unveiled its latest Hello Kitty shinkansen, or bullet train. This pink and white train with a Hello Kitty theme throughout started service on 30 June and will run for 3 months, connecting areas in western Japan. You can see more about the train here.
Hello Kitty is a cartoon cat with no mouth and a ribbon over her left ear. She is from the Japanese company Sanrio, designed by Yuko Shimizu in 1974. Hello Kitty first appeared on a coin purse in 1975, and has a huge following, especially among Asian women. Hello Kitty is now on all sorts of merchandise and is worth billions of dollars to Sanrio.
Back in 2013, I bought my first pair of Hello Kitty sneakers. You can read about that here. I still have these sneakers and I still wear them. I have had them repaired once, and after 5 years, they are kind of falling apart. So I bought another pair of Hello Kitty sneakers.
My first pair of Hello Kitty sneakers were made in China and they fit me well. This second pair of Hello Kitty sneakers that I recently bought are made in Japan and they are too small for me. I bought the biggest size that was available, but they are still too small for me.
You would think that, after all my past experiences, I should have learned by now that Japanese footwear and socks for women are never going to fit me. I don’t know why I never seem to learn this lesson. It’s like I’m in denial that Japanese footwear is too small for me. So, again I repeat the same mistake. But I’ll still squeeze my feet into these sneakers and hope that the shoes will stretch with time.