Who doesn't love Wapuu, the adorable Japanese WordPress mascot? Nick Hamze shared a great post about the origins of the mascot:
In 2009 at the WordCamp Tokyo after-party, Matt asked Japanese users what should we do to promote WordPress in Japan. One of the ideas was to create a mascot.
Foxkeh was already a popular local mascot for Firefox, so many community members thought WordPress should have a mascot for Japan as well. Matt said he thought it was a cool idea although many of the ja.wordpress.org admins thought he was kinda joking.
A few weeks after WordCamp Tokyo Naoko was hired by Automattic as a contractor. In May, she flew to San Francisco to attend to WordCamp SF. While there she talked with Matt about the mascot idea. He asked her to have the Japanese community to take the lead and make it happen.
Kazuko Kaneuchi designed the mascot for free, and after a very open process of voting and discussion, the mascot was announced in 2011. This is a really great story, and I love seeing the illustrator get some well deserved credit!
Here are some of the Wapuu ideas that were voted on:
Check out the full story on Nick's Wapuu focused blog. Nick (clearly) loves Wapuu, but he really love swag in general. He puts Wapuu on a lot of swag, including this ridiculous and awesome tacky holiday sweater.