On my tour of Utrecht, the guide pointed out a stoplight that had a cute little rabbit named Miffy on it. It's in honor of Miffy's creator, who was born in Utrecht!

I looked up Miffy and was immediately reminded of Hello, Kitty in Japan. The tour guide also mentioned that Miffy was super popular in Japan. 

Dick Bruna Photo CreditDick Bruna Photo Credit

The simplicity and minimalism is what makes Miffy so amazing and Japanese to me. The creator wanted to create the rabbit with very simple strokes, and he more than succeeded. 

Turns out, Miffy was created before Hello, Kitty and there have been some law suits over a similar bunny character from the creator of Hello, Kitty. 

Miffy is sometimes assumed to be a Japanese character, because Sanrios Hello Kitty, introduced in 1974, is rendered using a similar line style. The Miffy brand is popular in Japan, with strong sales of Japanese-made Miffy merchandise. In an interview for The Daily Telegraph, Bruna expressed his dislike for Hello Kitty. That, he says darkly, is a copy [of Miffy], I think. I dont like that at all. I always think, No, dont do that. Try to make something that you think of yourself.

On August 26, 2010, Mercis BV, representing Bruna, brought suit against Sanrio with the claim that one of Hello Kittys companion characters, a rabbit named Cathy, infringes on the copyright and trademark of Miffy. On November 2, 2010, a Dutch court ruled against Sanrio and ordered the company to stop marketing Cathy products in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

— Wikipedia

Not surprising at all, and definitely very impressive that such Japanese-style character would be created in Utrecht of all places!

I Miffy!

Miffy books at the airport! Miffy books at the airport!

For more Miffy cuteness, follow her on Twitter!