Sanrio Transitions to the Next Generation

Sanrio Co., Ltd. appointed Tomokuni Tsuji as a new company president. Sanrio is the creator of Hello Kitty, the world famous kawaii character. Tomokuni, a former senior managing director at Sanrio, is a grandson of the founding president, Shintaro Tsuji. This is the first change of leadership for Sanrio since its inception.

Shintaro started a silk business in 1960 and expanded to producing a line of cute character merchandise including Hello Kitty which was released in 1974. The company was a pioneer in the character licensing business. In recent years, however, Sanrio has struggled with business in Europe and America. The company believes the transition allows them to better respond to the fast changing business environment including consumer trends.

Sanrio’s move received mixed reviews. While some highly praised the rejuvenation of the office from 92-year-old Shintaro to 31-year-old Tomokuni, others were critical about the hereditary transfer. A few observant people pointed out Tomokuni’s resemblance to Sanrio’s Pom Pom Purin. The young president himself could become the next Sanrio character.

Hello Kitty continues playing an important role to bring peace of mind to people especially in the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Author profile

Ryosuke Komori was born and raised in Kyoto. The city's deep cultural heritage and centuries-old traditions helped shape him as a young man and still influence him today. As a college student, he and friends started an email magazine business called MaguMagu! The success of that business made Ryosuke realize he needed to tell more stories about Japan in new ways. That's how QAZJapan and Origami magazine were born. With QAZJapan, Ryosuke is taking his media skills to a whole new level! He hopes you dive into the site and enjoy.
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