Ex-Japan policeman breaks records with Hello Kitty collection
'This is his dream'
A67-year-old former policeman with the world's biggest Hello Kitty collection has become the envy of little girls everywhere with a quarter of a million dollars' worth of moon-faced memorabilia. Masao Gunji, who spent his working life on the trail of hardened criminals, now spends his retirement tracking down pink and white soft toys to keep in a Hello Kittythemed house, which he built specially and has become a magnet for tourists. "Kitty has been like the love of my Though he doesn't live in the property, Gunji was recognized last November by Guinness World Records for his collection, having spent around 30 million yen ($267,000) on thousands of items, including the house.
More than 5,000 items he owns bear Kitty's iconic red bow, propelling Gunji past the previous record holder, also Japanese. Gunji's wife Yoshiko says she fully supports her husband's passion. "I don't care how much he spends on Hello Kitty," she said. "People need to make a mark on the world, and Hello Kitty is the one he lives for," she added. "This is his dream." — AFP
This photo shows retired Japanese police officer Masao Gunji posing with his Hello Kitty collection at his pink-painted Hello Kitty house in Yotsukaido, Chiba prefecture. — AFP photos
Masao Gunji showing his Hello Kitty collection to a neighbor at his pinkpainted Hello Kitty house.
Masao Gunji, a retired police officer, standing at an entrance to his pinkpainted Hello Kitty house with his wife Yoshiko Gunji (left) in Yotsukaido.
Masao Gunji (right) posing next to his Hello Kitty collection as his wife Yoshiko Gunji (left) looks on, at their pink-painted Hello Kitty house.