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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/