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Photos: World's Largest Hello Kitty Retrospective Coming To Little Tokyo

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Hello Kitty may not be a cat, but we still love her. And in celebration of her 40th birthday, not only is Sanrio throwing the world's first Hello Kitty Convention in October, the Japanese American National Museum will also be hosting the world's largest retrospective on the iconic, bow-wearing character.

The exhibit, "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty," will open on October 11 and run through April 26, 2015. There will be artwork, and retro and unique Hello Kitty products on display. Christine Yano, Ph.D., who is co-curating this exhibit and is the author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific, tells LAist that some of the most interesting items she found along the way were Hello Kitty motor oil, toilet paper, contact lenses, and vacuum cleaners.

Yano feels that Hello Kitty sends a message that's "emotionally affirming" and full of warm and fuzzy feelings: "It is the intimate connection between people—friendship and happiness—that is the message. The slogan 'small gift big smile' says it all: by doing something (even the smallest thing) for someone else, one is able to increase the smiles and thus the happiness quotient."

Japanese American National Museum is located at 100 North Central Avenue, Little Tokyo, (213) 625-0414. "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty" will be on display from October 11, 2014 to April 26, 2015. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for ages 6-17, and free for ages 5 and under. For more information, visit their website here.