Sanrio is a Japanese company that designs, licenses and produces products focusing on the kawaii (cute) segment of Japanese popular culture. Their products include stationery, school supplies, gifts and accessories that are sold worldwide and at specialty brand retail stores in Japan. Sanrio's best known character is Hello Kitty, a white cat with red bow and no visible mouth, one of the most successful marketing brands in the world.
Besides selling character goods, Sanrio takes part in movie production and publishing. They own the rights to the Peanuts characters in Japan. Their animatronics branch, called Kokoro Company, Ltd. ("Kokoro" being Japanese for "heart"), is best known for the Actroid android. They participate in the fast food industry, running a franchise of KFC in Saitama.
Sanrio was founded by Shintaro Tsuji as the Yamanashi Silk Company in 1960, using 1 million yen in capital.