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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "popular-themes"

One of the most popular cartoon characters of all time, Hello Kitty has been an iconic part of pop culture for over than 30 years. But where did this adorable white kitten come from?

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty was designed by Japanese artist Yuko Shimizu, who at the time was not trying to create an icon, but was simply doodling! She drew inspiration from Japanese bobtail cats and put her own twist on it, giving the drawing no mouth, and a bright red bow. She first captured the hearts of people all over Japan in 1974, when she appeared on a small coin purse, between a bottle of milk and a goldfish bowl!

Hello Kitty

Sanrio is the name of Japanese company that began distributing Hello Kitty all over the world in 1976. They’ve also introduced her family, and gave her a background… for instance, did you know that she was born in the suburbs of London, and weighs as much as three apples? :)

Sanrio has also featured Hello Kitty in mass produced collectible items like necklaces, folders, pencils and more. In the 1980s, a Hello Kitty craze swept the United States, and anything with her likeness sold like hotcakes – she was even featured on a couple of different cartoon shows and her image graced appliances, dolls and other items. In Japan, Sanrio has opened two Hello Kitty theme parks called Harmonyland and Sanrio Puroland, both of which delight millions of visitors every year! Hello Kitty Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty is beloved not only for her cute image in colourful backgrounds, but also for her optimism and happy messages – despite her lack of mouth. Sanrio representatives say this particular characteristic helps people project their feelings on the character, and that because she speaks from the heart, she isn’t bound to any language.

These days, Hello Kitty continues to appear on everything from jewellery to laptop sleeves… and of course, many beloved postcards! You can learn more about Hello Kitty’s stunning rise to fame and check her many themed products on the Sanrio website.

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Lately, Japanese Gotochi Cards are becoming quite popular and sought after among postcrossers – so we thought it would be fun to tell you a bit more about them here on the blog. Read on!

Japanese Gotochi CardsJapanese Gotochi Cards

Gotochi cards are designed and released by the Japanese Postal System, and each one of them represents a place in Japan – hence the name 'gotochi’, which means 'local’. They showcase Japanese symbols (which might be local dishes, costumes, monuments, landscapes, etc.) on a national and regional level, in a brightly coloured and fun cartoon.

Japanese Gotochi CardsJapanese Gotochi Cards

Gotochi cards have a couple of unique features that make them special. First of all, they are not perfect rectangles, but in fact take on the shape of their picture. Also, each card not only has a cartoon picture on it, but also the name of the place that is depicted in the image. Every prefecture has multiple cards, which might be one of the reasons that collecting them has taken off and became such a popular hobby!

Japanese Gotochi CardsJapanese Gotochi Cards

Some of the most famous Gotochi postcards include Kyoto’s Geisha’s and Ibaraki’s melons. You can check out the whole collection of cards on the postcard collection site.

Hope you enjoyed discovering the Japanese Gotochi cards! Which one is your favourite? :)

Note: While they are super-cute, please bear in mind that they are also more expensive to send than normal postcards – and so it is hard for Japanese postcrossers to send a lot of them.

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Over the years, we have received a lot of questions about Dick Bruna and his Miffy character. This little rabbit has been tugging at our heartstrings for some time now, so we wanted to find out more about who Bruna is and where Miffy comes from.

Dick Bruna and Miffy

Dick Bruna is a Dutch artist who was born in the Dutch province of Utrecht in 1927. He came from a long line of publishers, as his great-grandfather started a publishing company called A.W. Bruna & Zoon in 1866, which was then passed down through the family for many generations. It grew to be one of the largest publishing companies in the Netherlands under the management of Bruna’s father, Albert Bruna. Bruna’s first job was as an artist, creating covers for books at his father’s publishing company.

In the late 1950s, the Miffy (Nijntje in Dutch) character was born. Bruna has said that his inspiration for the white, Hello Kitty-esque rabbit was from a rabbit that he observed hopping around his vacation home while he was with his children and his wife. Bruna wanted to take the image of the rabbit and turn him into cartoon form. From there, the image of Miffy was born. Of course, Miffy has gone through a number of subtle transformations throughout the years, yet Bruna has still stuck to the same basic, happy-go-lucky rabbit that so many people have fallen in love with.

Dick Bruna and Miffy

Bruna went on to create more than 120 books, most of which are about the fluffy bunny that is Miffy. Readers have come to truly identify with this female rabbit because she is drawn in a very simplistic style. She is not complicated for children to identify with, and her sweet stories have inspired millions. Bruna’s style is defined by simple, clean lines and basic shapes that are very non-threatening for children.

Miffy is now a popular character, not only on books but on greeting cards and postcards as well, bringing cheer wherever she goes. For more about Bruna and Miffy, visit Miffy’s website. And if you’re ever in Utrecht, don’t miss the Dick Bruna museum!

Dick Bruna and Miffy
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Päivää and God dag Postcrossers!

Many of you are already avid fans of Moomins/MuminTroll/Muumi. The Moomins are the major characters in the series of comic strips and books illustrated and written by renowned Finnish artist Tove Jansson, who declared that his characters are partially based on many of her family and friends.

The main appearance of Moomins is very similar to hippopotamuses but they are actually a family of trolls who live in Moominvalley. The Moomins interact with their friends such as Hemulens, Sniff, The Snork maiden, Snufkin and Little My. The major premise of most Moomin stories revolves around the idea of accepting the differences of others and accommodating their specific needs.

Moomins

The first book was released in 1945 and soon more books, a comic strip series, and a television adaptation followed. There are even a number of movies based on Jansson’s lovable family of trolls. Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Britain, Austria, Germany, and Japan all made TV and movie adaptations of the Moomins.

Moomins

It was not long after the success of Moomins (called the Moomin Boom) reached its peak as operas, Moomin products, playrooms, museums, albums, and even a Moomin theme park emerged in many parts of Finland and Japan.

If you have any other interesting information about Moomins, just comment and share!

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