Evolution of Character Culture Through Collaboration in Japan: The Sanrio Case


According to a survey by Yano Research Institute, the size of the character business market in 2021 reached 1,256 billion Japanese Yen. Character culture has spread not only in Japan but also worldwide, and characters from comics such as "Mickey Mouse" have been independently developed. Similarly, characters from Japan such as "Hello Kitty" and "Pokémon" are popular overseas. In particular, the existence of small characters such as “Hello Kitty” is recognized as representative of the "Kawaii" culture. This research focuses on Sanrio's recent trend of mutual character collaboration and consideration of character culture development. Founded in 1960, Sanrio has a history of over 60 years, and has created 21 types of characters, starting with "Hello Kitty" in 1974. In recent years, Sanrio not only produces many characters and promotes the diversification of characters, but also promotes collaboration with other branding manufacturers and diversification with other brand content. In this research, we focus on the collaboration business that Sanrio has been developing and examine how “connections” develop. We consider the relationship between fans and characters as "connections" in social networks and evaluate the strength of those connections. We collected data through Twitter and quantitatively evaluated its nature based on the strength of “connections.” Our results show that while a lot of communication has occurred around "strong ties," it can be said that effects of collaboration generate “weak ties” between fans of one character and the collaborator which develops the business.

Author Information
Soji Lee, Tokai University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2023
Stream: Other Humanities

This paper is part of the IICAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Lee S. (2023) Evolution of Character Culture Through Collaboration in Japan: The Sanrio Case ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2023.29
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2023.29

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon