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Wikipe-tan full length.svg
First appearanceJanuary 2006
Created byKasuga[a]

Wikipe-tan (ウィキペたん, Wikipetan) is a personification of Wikipedia created in January 2006 by the editor then known as Kasuga.[a] She is an unofficial mascot of Wikipedia and is used in multiple wikiprojects. The -tan in "Wikipe-tan" is a hypocoristic suffix, in the form of a Japanese honorific. Like the OS-tans, she is a product of moe anthropomorphism.

Wikipe-tan is the mascot character for WikiProject Anime and manga and WikiProject Holidays' Christmas task force; she was also the mascot for Admin coaching, the Counter-Vandalism Unit, and a contender for the Wikipedia mascot. In addition, Wikimedia Hong Kong uses Wikipe-tan images and cosplay during functions and promotions. Wikipe-tan has occasionally been treated as a mascot for Wikipedia or its community in news reports.


The general idea for a "Wikipe-tan" mascot was posted on January 5, 2006, by the anonymous Taiwanese IP address, who suggested a mascot "just like OS-tan" on the Wikipedia mascot vote.[1] Japanese Wikipedia user Kasuga drew at least two images of a "Wikipe-tan" character and posted them on the Futaba Channel on January 8; the thread was linked from the mascot discussion on January 13,[2] and two of the images were uploaded to Commons and added directly to the discussion on January 18.[3]

Kasuga has stated that when designing Wikipe-tan and, later, her sisters, he kept two things in mind: Fujiko F Fujio's advice that a good character design should have a distinctive silhouette, and an observation by Scott McCloud in his Understanding Comics that golden age comic book artists gave each character symbolic color charts.[4]

The puzzle pieces worn by the character are from an earlier version of the Wikipedia puzzle-ball logo. ワィ is apparently a misspelling of ウィ ("wi"), the first syllable of the Japanese katakana transliteration of "Wikipedia", while is a kanji character apparently changed from the puzzle-ball's , the latter being a Chinese character not used in Japanese. The most up-to-date picture by Kasuga shows her wearing the characters (being the first character of Wikipedia's Chinese name) and the correct Japanese katakana ウィ from the current Wikipedia logo.

On March 29, 2007, Wikipe-tan was joined by the moe anthropomorphisms for Wikipedia's sister projects, Commons-tan and Quote-tan. Kasuga has stated " Wiki-sisters will be designed in the future". However, Kasuga also stated that "there was no page that needed other sisters' images up to now. I might draw their images if there are pages which need them."

Although Wikipede won the mascot vote, new Wikipe-tan images were made and saw continued use. Jimbo Wales described Wikipe-tan as a community mascot in 2007,[5] though he has since noted that he personally dislikes the character.[6]

Use on Wikipedia and Wikimedia organizations[edit]

The three current Wikimedia sisters (from left to right): Commons-tan, Wikipe-tan, and Quote-tan.

In June 2006, Wikipe-tan was made the mascot for the Anime and manga WikiProject after the previous mascot, a fan-art image of the title character from Midori Days, was removed from Commons due to copyright problems. Since her first appearance, many users across the entire Wikimedia project have placed images of her on their userpages (see Commons usage for each image).

On August 9, 2006, an image of Wikipe-tan was promoted as a featured picture, and it appeared on the main page as the October 2 Picture of the day. On October 29, 2007, the image was delisted and is no longer a featured picture.

Starting in September 2006,[7] Wikipe-tan also acted as the mascot of the Counter-Vandalism Unit since their previous logo had been removed[8] in February 2006 due to trademark and copyright-related complications. In August 2008 a new image replaced[9] Wikipe-tan, though the old logo with Wikipe-tan was still used on the Project template until[10] March 2011.

On February 21, 2007, WikiProject Military history began using a Wikipe-tan image, requested to be created with her in a navy uniform for featured articles, to decorate one of their userboxes.

In June 2007, a suggestive image of Wikipe-tan was proposed to be used in the article on lolicon. The image was removed[11] from Commons by Jimbo Wales, who called Wikipe-tan a "community mascot" who should not be subject to such "pedophilic sexualization".[11] Kasuga later drew a new image for the article which did not use Wikipe-tan.

On December 21, 2007 an image of Wikipe-tan wearing baro't saya was added to Wikipedia:Tambayan Philippines. That same image is currently used on the front page of the Chavacano-language Wikipedia at and has been since June 27, 2008 (and was then made bigger on July 22, 2009).

Use outside Wikipedia and Wikimedia organizations[edit]

  • A userChrome.css, written by Kylu, is available for Firefox users to add Wikipe-tan in their browsers.
  • games™, a United Kingdom gaming magazine, used an image of Wikipe-tan as an illustration of maid cafés (p 30, Issue 48).
  • On October 12, 2006, Hong Kong's Apple Daily ran a short article discussing Wikipe-tan, and how the GFDL helped her spread across Wikimedia.
  • Two Wikipe-tan cosplayers have been spotted in a cosplay activity at the University of Hong Kong. One of them was later interviewed by the Hong Kong magazine Easy Finder, which erroneously reported that she had been invited by Kasuga and Norwegian "administrator" GunnarRene to become the real-life personification of Wikipe-tan.[12][13] The Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily compounded that error, reporting that she had become a representative for Wikipedia.[14]
  • On June 15, 2007, the German newspaper Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (circulation ca. 31,000) used Wikipe-tan on the front page as well as next to an article on the variety of manga.
  • In March 2007, the Swedish foreign ministry published a promemoria[15] about Japanese anime and manga, using text and Kasuga's Wikipe-tan image from the Swedish Wikipedia without acknowledgement as required by the GFDL. The Swedish media reported this violation in April,[16] and the Chancellor of Justice ruled that the act was a copyright infringement in November.[17]
  • British newspaper The Observer featured a picture of the cropped sailor fuku version of Wikipe-tan in the article "Girl geeks find manga haven" (World, Page 35, 2008-06-01, by Justin McCurry). The article makes no mention of Wikipedia, Wikipe-tan, or the GFDL.
  • Howard, Dorothy (15 September 2015). "Meet the manga avatars of your favorite tech platforms". Hopes&Fears.


Wikipe-tan and others by Kasuga[edit]

Wikipe-tan by others[edit]

Wikipe-tan in real life[edit]

Barnstars and barnstar proposals[edit]


Cropped versions[edit]



Code Result
Wikipe-tan in navy uniform2 transparent.pngThis user loves Wikipe-tan, the cutest personification of Wikipedia.
Supports several images
Wikipe-tanCrazy.gifThis user believes Wikipe-tan established a cult of personality and is now destroying Wikipedia.
Love Heart SVG.svgThis user's waifu is Wikipe-tan.


  1. ^ a b In the aftermath of the unified login finalization, the user now going by Kasuga on Commons and on English Wikipedia is a different person. The accounts of the creator of Wikipe-tan were renamed Kasuga~enwiki, Kasuga~jawiki and Kasuga~commonswiki.


  1. ^ (January 5, 2006). "How about Wikipe-tan just like OS-tan". Meta. Retrieved March 7, 2011.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ (January 13, 2006). "something like the one here?". Meta. Retrieved July 10, 2011.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Shii (January 18, 2006). "Um... it seems those images are GFDL ... let's put them here, then". Meta. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  4. ^ Kasuga (October 23, 2007). "Adult Wikipe-tan by ~Kasuga39". deviantArt. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Wales, Jimbo (June 8, 2007). "Community mascot". Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Wales, Jimbo (February 7, 2011). "I am not a fan". Wikipedia. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "Wikipedia:Counter Vandalism Unit/Nav". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Wikipedia:Counter Vandalism Unit/Nav". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit: Difference between revisions". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  10. ^ "Template:Counter-Vandalism Unit: Difference between revisions". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Deletion log". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Helander, Magnus (2007-04-30). "UD plankade Wikipedia" (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  17. ^ " homepage". Retrieved 22 November 2010.[dead link]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]