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Synonyms: desktop buddy, desktop sitter, desktop mascot, screen crawler
See also: fanart
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A shimeji is a small, animated chibi version of a character that appears on the user's computer desktop, moves around, and is adorable.

Many fanartists create fandom-specific shimeji, which can then be downloaded and installed by other fans. A search on DeviantART for "shimeji" in October 2011 produced nearly eight thousand results. [1] They are extremely popular in anime fandoms such as Hetalia or Pokémon, but are also found in other types of fandoms like Homestuck or X-Men. It is easier to make shimejis if the characters already exist in a graphic format, like in video game, comics or webcomic fandoms, but shimeji for live-action series like Sherlock (BBC) or Supernatural also exist.


The original shimeji-making Java program was created by Yuki Yamada of Group Finity. It is an open source program, so many individual fans have modified the code to create character-specific shimejis for their fandoms.

There are currently two versions of the program, Calm and Mischievous. The calm shimejis simply walk around the screen, and may perform character-specific actions. [2] The mischievous version multiplies itself, and pushes browser windows around on the desktop. [3] [4]

The program has been translated into English. The English version is called called Shimeji-ee, for Shimeji English Enhanced. It is currently hosted here on Google Code.


BBC Sherlock shimeji by y0do stands on a browser window.



  1. DeviantART search results page for "shimeji".
  2. For instance, this shimeji of Dean Winchester by Saisoto digs holes with a shovel, rocks out, and plays with knives.
  3. The word "shimeji" is Japanese for "mushroom," because of the way that mushrooms and shimeji characters both pop up and multiply.
  4. Coburn's Domain, Shimeji English Enhanced: Desktop Characters with unique behaviours. Posted Nov 14, 2010. Last accessed Oct 26, 2011/