Sanrio Company History Timeline


1976: Company begins licensing of characters; forms Sanrio Inc. in San Jose.

In 1976, Hello Kitty landed in America as Sanrio opened their first US store in the Eastridge Mall in San Jose, California.

A United States subsidiary, Sanrio Inc., was created in 1976 to oversee United States operations, including those of Sanrio Communications.

1976 Established local subsidiary Sanrio, Inc. in San Francisco.


In 1978, the firm received an Academy Award for its documentary, Who Are the Dead-bolts and Where Did They Get 19 Kids? Another film, Glacier Fox, was released that year as well.

1978 Won a United States Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the film "Who Are the DeBolts?"

1978 Opened Hong Kong Gift Gate, the first gift gate in Asia (outside of Japan).


1982 Listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

1982 Local subsidiary Sanrio GmbH is established in Hamburg.


Then, in 1983, Sanrio set up a full-fledged European subsidiary, choosing Hamburg, Germany, to form Sanrio GmbH. Back in the United States, meanwhile, Hello Kitty's popularity reached still greater heights when it was named UNICEF's child ambassador to the United States.


1984 Listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


1985 The first animated TV series “Button Nose” begins broadcasting.


The company started up a subsidiary for the vast Latin America market in Brazil in 1987.

1987: Company establishes Brazilian subsidiary.

International expansion continued when Sanrio created Sanrio do Brasil Comercio e Representacoes Ltd. in 1987.

1987 Head office relocated to Osaki, Shinagawa, Tokyo.


At the same time, Sanrio, which had counted young girls as its primary market, had its first crossover success with the introduction of its frog-shaped character Keroppi in 1988.

1988 Participated in the establishment of Harmonyland Corporation (now Sanrio Entertainment Co., Ltd.) in Hijimachi, Hayami Town, Oita Prefecture.


1989 At the 29th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders, a resolution was passed to change the fiscal year to the period from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.


The company founded its own amusement park, Puroland, in 1990.

Sanrio also opened its own theme park called Sanrio Puroland in 1990 in Tama New Town.

1990 The first "Young Ambassadors Program" was held. (Eight junior high and high school students from Los Angeles visited Japan for a grassroots exchange to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the United States)


1992: Company establishes Taipei subsidiary.


1994: Company establishes Hong Kong subsidiary.

Hello Kitty became the child ambassador for UNICEF in Japan in 1994.


"taking kitty beyond kiddies." adweek eastern edition, 6 july 1998.

Sanrio had begun to target the United States teen market in 1998 with a national marketing campaign that included advertisements in magazines like Seventeen.


In 1999, however, the firm launched several brand building tactics, such as pushing Hello Kitty products into mass market stores like Target.


Cinnamoroll is a white puppy with long ears whose tail resembles a cinnamon roll! Created in 2000, Cinnamoroll has starred in his own manga series as well as an animated film and many shorts.

In 2000, a Hello Kitty store opened in New York City.


"your money: trends: hello kitty." asiaweek, 9 march 2001.

The most recent character represented is Cinnamoroll, who launched in 2001.

2001 Created the character Cinnamoroll.


2002 The first directly managed store in Europe is opened in Hamburg.


2003 The first Sanrio store in Russia opens in Moscow.


2004 Created the characters Sugarbunnies.


2008 Hello Kitty appointed as "Visit Japan Campaign China and Hong Kong Tourism Goodwill Ambassador" by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.


2009 Sanrio Entertainment Company, Ltd. established to integrate the theme park business.

2009 Held Hello Kitty art exhibition and hands-on event "Three Apples" in Los Angeles.


In 2010 Dick Bruna, the creator of the Miffy comics, tried to sue Sanrio.

2010 Special sponsorship of "GREEN TOKYO HELLO KITTY & FRIENDS" as a 50th anniversary project.


After the 2011 Japanese Earthquakes, Sanrio reached a deal with Bruna where Sanrio would stop producing Cathy products globally.

2011 Acquired the characters Mr.


2012 Head office operations relocated to 1-11-1 Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo.

2012 “Jewelpet the Movie: Sweet Dance Princess”, the first Jewelpet movie, was released in theaters.


2013 New area called Sanrio Town opens in Sanrio Puroland.

2013 Created the characters Gudetama, Kirimichan. and Kashiwankomochi.


2014 HELLO KITTY CON2014, a fan convention celebrating Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary, was held in Los Angeles.


2015 Hello Kitty was appointed as a special ambassador for the Japanese Pavilion at the 2015 Milano International Expo.


2018 Aggretsuko's original animated series realeased worldwide on Netflix.


Hello Kitty also has her own line of comics, her own album, a song dedicated to her by Avril Lavigne titled “Hello Kitty”, her own theme song, an upcoming movie in 2019, and numerous video games that also star her friends.


2020 Celebrated 60th anniversary.


2021 Created the characters Maimaimaigoen and Bosanimal.

Work At Sanrio?
Share Your Experience
Company Founded
South San Francisco, CA
Company Headquarter
Get Updates for Jobs and News

Sanrio Jobs Nearby

Sanrio Jobs

Sanrio Similar Companies

Company NameFounded DateRevenueEmployee SizeJob Openings
Body Central1972$283.6M3,000-
Yankee Candle1969$844.2M1,927-
Charming Charlie2004$387.3M1,622-
Susie’s Deals1974$100.0M700-
Janie and Jack2005$16.7B117,000-
Spirit Halloween1983$1.1B5,0002
Pepper Palace1989$1.4M15-
Find Jobs from Similar Companies
Personalize your job search. Where would you like to work?

Sanrio Similar Companies Jobs

Sanrio History FAQs

How Old Is Sanrio?

Sanrio is 47 years old.

Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Sanrio, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Sanrio. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Sanrio. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this information. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by Sanrio. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Sanrio and its employees or that of Zippia.

Sanrio may also be known as or be related to Sanrio, Sanrio Inc and Sanrio, Inc.