Sanrio Co., Ltd (Japanese: 株式会社サンリオ, Kabushikigaisha Sanrio) is a Japan based company, lifestyle brand and character creator that aims to spread heart-felt emotion under the philosophy "Small Gift Big Smile". It focuses on kawaii culture.
It was founded in August 1960 as Yamanashi Silk Center Co. Ltd before changing its name to Sanrio in April 1973. Shintaro Tsuji was the founder of the company. In 2020, Shintaro Tsuji stepped down and his grandson Tomokuni Tsuji became the president.
Sanrio is loved for its many 'cute' original characters that it creates, such as the popular Hello Kitty and other lesser known characters such as Cinnamoroll, My Melody, Kerokerokeroppi and Hangyodon. It owns rights to the Mr. Men and Little Miss franchise, and the Peanuts franchise in Japan.
Sanrio produces and licenses gifts of many kinds. It works in the publishing, video and animation industries, where it is responsible for books, film and video often featuring its characters. It has a "Sanrio Films" label.
- Sanrio Greetings
- Sanrio Entertainment (former: Sanrio Communication World, Harmonyland).
- Sanrio Far East
- Sanrio Car Lease
- Sanrio Enterprise
- Sanrio Music Productions
- Sanrio Wave
- Sanrio (USA subsidiary)
- Sanrio Global (UK subsidiary)
- Sanrio (Brazil subsidiary)
- Sanrio (Hong Kong subsidiary)
- Sanrio Digital
- Sanrio Korea
- Sanrio Shanghai International Trading
- Sanrio Asia Merchandise
- Sanrio Taiwan
- Sanrio G.m.b.H.
- Mister Men Ltd.
- Mister Films Ltd.
- Sanrio UK Finance
- Sanrio Chile
- Sanrio Global Asia
- Character Soft (video games)
- Imagineer (video games)
- Japan Racing Association (Turfy)
- KFC (food)
- Moke's Bread & Breakfast (food)
- Sega Sammy Holdings (Jewelpet)
- Nintendo (Pocket Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty World, other games released on Nintendo systems, Nintendo All-Plastic, Snoopy Concert)
- Rocket Company (video games)
- Shogakukan (books)
- Viz Media (books)
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- Kore ga Sanrio no Himitsu Desu (これがサンリオの秘密です) states that Sanrio is an alternative reading of its older name Yamanashi [Silk Center] (Sanri) and the exclamation "ou" for excitement. Of note, an old nickname of Shintaro Tsuji's is the "Strawberry King" (king, 王 is ou) (not to be confused with the character).
- This meaning seems to have been lost to time, with even Sanrio Europe claiming it comes from san ('holy') and río ('river').