Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Taiwan hospital a hit with Hello Kitty fans

Nurses in the Hello Kitty-designed maternity ward, at the Hau Sheng  hospital, checks on the newborns,  in the  southern Taiwan city of Chunghua. Hau Sheng Hospital, located 95 miles  (150 kilometers) south of Taipei, is the latest destination for the  cute feline with the penchant for pink, reflecting its owner's belief  that mothers and their newborns will be soothed by the well-known Hello  Kitty ambiance.

Nurses in the Hello Kitty-designed maternity ward, at the Hau Sheng hospital, checks on the newborns, in the southern Taiwan city of Chunghua. Hau Sheng Hospital, located 95 miles (150 kilometers) south of Taipei, is the latest destination for the cute feline with the penchant for pink, reflecting its owner's belief that mothers and their newborns will be soothed by the well-known Hello Kitty ambiance.

YUANLIN, Taiwan – Japan’s iconic Hello Kitty has been recruited to help calm anxious mothers at a maternity hospital in Taiwan where the cartoon image adorns everything from walls to newborns’ blankets .

Hau Sheng Hospital, located 95 miles (150 kilometers) south of Taipei, is the latest destination for the cute cat with a penchant for pink.

A giant Hello Kitty figure dressed in a pink doctor uniform greets visitors in the lobby, while colorful murals of the feline are found in recovery rooms, the nursery and on elevator doors.

Owner Tsai Tsung-ji approached Sanrio Co., the maker of Hello Kitty, about decorating his hospital with a Hello Kitty theme at the suggestion of his mother, wife and daughter — all of whom are huge fans.

“When new moms feel anxious and lost about how to deal with their new babies, Hello Kitty can make them more relaxed and reduce their sense of discomfort while giving birth,” said Tsai.

He declined to reveal how much he was paying Sanrio for the Hello Kitty rights except to say it was a “reasonable” figure.

Introduced in 1974, Hello Kitty has become one of the most powerful brands in the world, adorning some 50,000 products in 60 countries.

First-time father Chen Wen-sheng, 24, said he was pleased his son was born at Hau Sheng. “The place is quite pretty, and warm and fuzzy like Hello Kitty should be.”

But Angela Lee, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, said the idea of a cartoon themed hospital was “controversial” because some people are bound to “think the entire hospital is like a theme park.”

Tsai said the hospital has delivered about 2,000 babies since it underwent its Hello Kitty makeover in 2006.

Associated Press writer Deborah Yao contributed to this report from Philadelphia.

Visitors view newborns in the Hello Kitty-designed maternity ward, at  the Hau Sheng hospital in the southern Taiwan  city of Chunghua.

Visitors view newborns in the Hello Kitty-designed maternity ward, at the Hau Sheng hospital in the southern Taiwan city of Chunghua.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service