Hello Kitty Under The Lion Rock, Back To 1960s Exhibition @ Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong

***This is my 100th Post and a celebration with Hello Kitty is in order***

Who loves Hello Kitty? Me, me, me… AND ME!

If you had said to Ms  Yuko Shimizu back in 1974 that her cat with a huge head, 2 startled eyes, a button nose and no mouth will become a global phenomenon someday,  would she have believed it? Or even guessed it? No way! But this adorable cat has withstand the testament of time and leading the bandwagon of Kawaii in the culture of cuteness.

Kawaii is a term in Japanese popular youth culture denoting innocence, adorability and loveliness. However, for the politically correct, the mouthless Hello Kitty has been chastised for her subservience because she cannot and does not speak out for herself (because she has no mouth).  Nevertheless, why get so bogged down with sexism?  It’s only a cuddly toy and despite all those sexism talk, my love for Hello Kitty stationeries had prompted me to take up architecture.  Ridiculous, right?  But tell me, which occupation uses the most pens, pencils, colouring texts, etc..???

Let’s not waste time and let’s follow Hello Kitty back to the 1960s, shall we?


Hello Kitty Promotional Poster

Although the exhibition opens from 11am to 11pm daily.   When I visited on a Sunday at 10:30am, there was already a huge crowd of eager people waiting for the exhibition to open and the opportunity to pose with the larger than life Hello Kitty and Daniel.


The Sunday crowds at 10:30am

Although conceived as an expansive marketing display, the significance of 1960s in Hong Kong was not lost.

The 60s was a booming time for Hong Kong as she developed into a major manufacturing center. Economically, this era is considered a major stepping stone for Hong Kong.  It is considered the first turning point for Hong Kong’s economy as she is rises to become one of the Four Asian Tigers.

Anyone remembers Roman Tam’s song  “Under the Lion Rock” (獅子山下)?  This song indicates the spirit of the Hong Kong people.  (Check out the song here)


Let’s stroll down the memory lane under the Lion Rock, in this case, ‘Cat’ Rock

Lion Rock Tunnel is the first road tunnel in Hong Kong connecting Sha Tin with Kowloon. It opened in 1967


Lion Rock Tunnel with the basic staples on exhibit – salted fish, rice and wine

Rickshaw Rides:  Rickshaws (and the Junk) were symbols of Hong Kong for the layman tourists during its Colonial past.  Sadly, if you want to find the last rickshaw man in Hong Kong, you have to drop by the Lion Lookout Pavilion on Victoria Peak.  Rickshawing is a fast extinct trade with the rise of motor vehicles.


Hello Daniel as The Rickshaw Man.

Ding Ding Trams:  A convenient mode of transport started in 1904 and still popular today in Hong Kong Island.  It is also very cheap.


Hello Daniel as the tram conductor (the position is now redundant. We use Octopus)


Ding Ding as moving billboard

Streetscapes of Kowloon City


Typical Hong Kong vernacular

Imagine the roaring planes flying past overhead during the good old days of  Old Kai Tak Airport.  Really bringing back the nostalgia…


Planes overhead circa Kai Tak Airport


Vernacular of Shanghai Street, complete with the drying laundry on bamboo poles


Shanghainese barbers give the meanest shaves and haircuts around, and they still do!



Teddy Bear the hawker

Cross Harbour Ferry:  The most convenient and scenic mode of transport between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (and very cheap, in fact Seniors travel free).   A ride on the ferry is listed  in the List of Top 100 Bucket List.


Daniel dressed in the sailor’s outfit
(The Old Ferry Pier in Central has now been relocated)



Tsim Sha Tsui:  The famous clock tower still stands but the train station has relocated to Hung Hom.


TST Big Ben


Hello Kitty at the Big Ben


Hello Kitty in the fashionable qipao of the day

Photography:  Alluding to the photo-crazy people of today, people in the 1960s has just caught on with photography and the HK film industry is finding its wings.


Lights! Camera! Action! (Or sit still… whichever…)

Yum-cha in the tea-house:


Drinking tea in the tea-house while listening to the birds in cages and spiting into the spittoon makes a relaxing day.

In the 60s, dimsums were hungs around around the neck and sold by young pretty dimsum muis.  Today, if we are lucky, we have old hacks wheeling their dimsums in creeky trolleys


Hello Kitty the Dimsum Mui.

Cantonese Opera:  This was the favourite past time.  Watching Opera in the open air.  One can actually learn a lot about the fallacy of  life from these operas – bad against evil, karma, etc!!


Make-shift bamboo stage for the Opera


Hello Kitty and Daniel in traditional Opera garbs

The exhibition finishes on September 15, so if you are in Hongkie-Town, hurry down to Langham Place, Mongkok to stroll down memory lane with “Hello Kitty Under The Lion Rock”!