Office ladies rejoice! Plans have been announced for a theme park that would bring Hello Kitty and her blank-faced cohorts to China. Purveyors of kawaii kitsch Sanrio Co., Ltd. have reached an agreement to license their characters to Zhejiang Yinrun Leisure Development for a theme park project in Zhejiang’s Anji county, an hour and a half’s drive northwest from Hangzhou.
CNNGo reports that, at 1.5 billion RMB, the investment for Sanrio’s park will be much lesser than Disney’s 24.5 billion RMB investment in their new park. Construction for the new park is slated to begin next July, with completion set for 2014.
Though there are conflicting statements about the projected size of the park, with 0.6 km² and 0.095 km² both being reported, the park will still be significantly smaller than the new Shanghai Disneyland (4 km²).
The park will be Sanrio’s first international outing, following Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland, and the Hu Jintao-pleasing Harmony Land.
And so China’s tourists will soon have not one but two infantilizing multinational corporations vying for their hard-earned disposable income.
We once heard that Hello Kitty’s success was related precisely to her lack of a mouth or any discernible expression, making her a blank slate on which her audience could project whatever emotion they wished.
Still, that’s probably a lesser criticism than Charles Bukowski’s rebuke of Mickey Mouse, who Bukowski referred to as a ‘three-fingered son-of-a-bitch with no soul, for Christ’s sake.’
By Fan Huang