Do you know there are two big brands in Japan which lead the character business?
The first one is Sanrio, which people in all over the world probably know. Their famous characters include Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamoroll, and others.
So, do you know another company which creates very cute characters?
Do you know any characters from San-X? Well let’s find out!!
Rilakkuma is actually just a costume of a bear, but no one knows who is inside of it. He is always relaxing and being lazy every day. This is the reason why he is called Rilakkuma, a combination of the word “Relax” and “Kuma (bear in Japanese)”. The most interesting thing for him are his meals and snacks. His favorite foods are pancakes, rice omelets, pudding, and dango (sweet Japanese rice dumplings). Oh, by the way, he buys his costume online.
”Sumikko” means “corner”, and “Gurashi (same word as Kurashi)” means “to live”. These characters are named like this because they like to live or stay in the corner. Japanese tend to like “sumikko” as these characters, so it might express some part of features of Japanese people.
Sentimental Circus is a secret circus organized by a stuffed toy. This leader of the circus is called Shoppo, who always wears a hat. He looks like a rabbit, but it is not sure what he is. He is good at doing magic tricks and he always keeps some magician's equipment to use in his hat.
Tsuginohi means 'the next day' and Kerori is a onomatopoeia word, which we use to express when we forget something entirely. This cute frog is named Tsuginohi-Kerori because he forgets everything bad that happens to him the day after there was a bad thing. He turns green when he is in trouble, but he will become white after he forgets the matter. What a nice skill to have!
Tare-Panda is the first character which San-x made about 20 years ago, and it is a pioneer of the Japanese character industry. Tarepanda is also a lazy panda like Rilakkuma, but the difference is that we actually know how fast Tare-pandas move. Can you guess? It’s 2.75km per an hour. That's slow!
Who is your favorite cute Japanese characters?
There are lots of kawaii stationery and goods featuring all of Japan's different kinds of characters.
Our ZenPop Stationery Packs often feature these cute characters. Stay tuned for a Sumikko Gurashi pack coming this year!
And check out a previous Japanese Character Pack on ZenPlus.