What are yuru-chara?
Yuru-chara are mascot characters that represent various Japanese regions, organizations, events, and more. From the adorable Hikonyan of Hikone City, to the emblematic Miraitowa of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, these characters have become beloved icons throughout Japan and the world.
Who is Yumishi?
Yumishi (ユミシ) is a UMICH wolverine that is fascinated with Japanese culture. They love to travel in his maize & blue yukata and a wooden backpack. From this backpack they can pull all kinds of tools for any occasion, including a trusty bow (弓、"yumi") and fude brush-style arrow. Yumishi dreams of having one day tasted all the good sashimi plates in every Japanese city. In doing so, Yumishi travels and enjoys the hospitality of Japanese people and culture, while also inviting speakers to Ann Arbor for noon lectures! They also think it would be pretty cool to meet fellow mascots like Hikonyan, Kumamon, and Hiraku one day.
Who is the artist?
Bokai Zhang is a rising sophomore who studied intensive Japanese II in the LSA Residential College. He is planning to major in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB), but also enjoys practicing art and drawing in a Japanese manga style. He is learning Japanese so that he can communicate with Japanese doctors in his future career in medicine, and also someday publish a manga of his own.
Kuzurine (by Abrielle Fretz)
Abrielle is a U-M alumni currently working at the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology on the U-M medical campus. While earning her degrees at U-M, she took Japanese courses and participated in many cultural events, which introduced her to CJS.
Risucchi (by Lisa Cao)
Lisa is a U-M sophomore in Computer Science and Art & Design. In her free time, she does digital illustration as a hobby and freelance work, specializing in anime-style art. She’s also taking 3rd-year level Japanese classes to connect with Japanese artists on Twitter.