"Boku wa Kuma" (ぼくはくま?, lit. I'm a Bear) is Hikaru Utada's 17th Japanese single (24th single overall). The single was released on November 22 of 2006, just a matter of months after Hikaru's last studio effort, Ultra Blue, and only two months after the end of her tour, Utada United 2006.
"Boku wa Kuma" was her first try at writing a children's song. On October 1, 2006, it aired on the children's music program Minna no Uta on radio, and on TV the day after. Due to strong demand, the song had been planned for continuous rebroadcasting from October 2006 to January 2007 on Minna no Uta.
"Boku wa Kuma" was Utada's first single release to have three different pressings: a limited edition that included a picture book, a standard single and cover, and a CD+DVD combo pack, which included the music video.
The song is about a bear, what he can and cannot do, and what he is not (such as a car, chocolate, etc.). His rival is a fried shrimp.
Utada owns a stuffed bear named Kuma-chan; "kuma" is "bear" in Japanese, and "-chan" is an affectionate suffix added to names. She often posts photos of him on her U3 blog. After discovering the "made in China" tag on Kuma-chan's bottom, he was given the full name of "Kuma Chang" (which is technically pronounced identically to "Kuma-chan" in Japanese anyway). A staff pass was issued to him for the "Utada United 2006." tour.
In June 2006, Utada confessed on her blog that she has "pillow dependence". She calls her pillow "makura-san" (Mr. Pillow). She enjoys the comfort of feeling the pillow against her face, and would even hold the pillow all day long when she's stressed out. She was later surprised to find out there are many "pillow-addicts" out there, and joked about setting up a "pillow club". 'Makura-san' and Kuma are apparently good friends.
The song was performed during Utada's two date concert series Wild Life in December 2010.