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Hello Kitty, whom many learned last week is a girl and not a cat, may be the queen of Japan’s cute characters, but she’s hardly the only one. There are thousands, and they are ubiquitous: Long-time favorite Doraemon –who really is a cat– has a daily quiz in a national newspaper. Little monster Pikachu hosted a theme cafe in Tokyo this summer. Stress-relieving Rilakkuma–which means”relaxed bear”– dangles from teenage girls’ school bags. Characters are not just for kids in Japan, but are a part of business and social life.

“It’s Not Just Hello Kitty: Japan’s Character Craze” is categorized as “world”. This video was licensed from Grab Networks. For additional video content, click the “video” tab at the top of this page.