The Ultimate Sumikko Gurashi Guide

The Ultimate Sumikko Gurashi Guide

The Ultimate Sumikko Gurashi Guide

The Sumikko Gurashi are a bunch of shy kawaii characters that love living life quietly in the corner of the room. Don’t let these timid cuties from San-X fool you though! As introverted as they are, the Sumikko Gurashi are pretty well known! Loved for their unique, quirky, and relatable personalities, the Sumikko Gurashi are not only popular in Japan but all around the world!

  • Japanese name: すみっコぐらし
  • Name meaning: Sumikko means “corner”, Gurashi means “to gather”
  • Characters: There are about 50 kawaii characters
  • Fun fact: The Sumikko Gurashi were originally all just animals 

Sumikko Gurashi Cafe Hangout



Sumikko Gurashi Name Meaning

Sumikko Gurashi is a super cute and super unique name. In Japanese, it directly translates to “life in the corner.” It reflects the characters' shy nature and their preference for living away from the spotlight in the cozy corners of rooms. These cuties were made to relate to the Japanese’s feeling of comfort while staying in the sidelines. 



Sumikko Gurashi San-X

If you’ve been wondering where the Sumikko Gurashi comes from, these cuties were made by San-X. It's the same Japanese company that brought us the world-famous Rilakkuma and the magical characters in Sentimental Circus! Did you know that these cuties were inspired by doodles from the corner of a student’s notebook? That’s right, these cuties came from the mind of San-X artist Yuri Yokomizo who took inspiration from her corner sketches! 



You can read more about the kawaii company that the Sumikko Gurashi came from in our comprehensive blog about Sanrio! We also have a blog about Rilakkuma and a Sentimental Circus blog if you'd like to learn about the Sumikko gang's Sanrio siblings. 



Sumikko Gurashi Kimono

Let's get one thing straight — the characters of Sumikko Gurashi are as diverse as they are adorable. These characters don’t have a gender! That's right; they're here to break stereotypes and just be their awesome, corner-loving selves.



Famous Sumikko Gurashi

Why are they so famous? The Sumikko Gurashi has gained international fame because they resonate with many people's desire for comfort, tranquility, and solitude. Not only that, but these cuties always seem like they feel anxious or left out — something that we all feel from time to time. They’re just so relatable and cute! 



Sumikko Gurashi Dance

There are so many characters in the Sumikko Gurashi! Most kawaii fans are familiar with the five main castaway characters in the group, the Sumikkos. From time to time, they also get to see the nine smaller characters of the Sumikko Gurashi, the Minnikos. In total, there are about 50 Sumikko Gurashi cuties, but right now we’ll focus on the popular Sumikkos and Minnikos! 




The Sumikkos are the main characters of the Sumikko Gurashi. The group consists of Shirokuma the bear, Penguin? the fake penguin, Neko the shy cat, Tokage the pretend lizard, and Tonkatsu, the leftover pork cutlet. These cuties are the ones that you see almost everywhere! 


Sumikko Gurashi Shirokuma

Shirokuma (しろくま shirokuma)

A polar bear who dislikes the cold so much, it had to run away from its home in the Arctic Circle. This easygoing cutie loves to draw, bathe in hot springs, and sip on hot tea in the corner. Its most prized possession is Furoshiki, the pink cloth with cream polka dots. Polka dots. 


Sumikko Gurashi Penguin?

Penguin?  (ぺんぎん? pengin?)

Yes, the question mark is part of the name. Penguin? is a bit unsure whether it really is a penguin and that makes it even cuter than it already is! This cucumber-loving character has vague memories of having a plate on its head. Could it have been a Kappa (a Japanese frog god) all along? We're not really sure.


Sumikko Gurashi Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu (とんかつ tonkatsu)

A piece of pork cutlet that was left uneaten due to its high levels of fat content. It’s okay, we still love Tonkatsu anyway! Covered in batter, this kawaii character refries itself instead o bathing. Ebi furai no shippo, the shrimp tail, is its best buddy!


Sumikko Gurashi Neko

Neko (ねこ neko)

Socially anxious and timid, this quiet calico cat often gives away the corner to other members of the Sumikko Gurashi because of its personality. Neko is self-conscious about how round it is, that’s why it needs hugs!  It feels safe when it is snuggly covered and its favorite food are rice balls and cat food.



Tokage (とかげ tokage)

 Tokage is a dinosaur who pretends to be a lizard to avoid being caught. This dino was separated from its mother, but then they were eventually reunited! Awwww! It’s favorite food is fish, that’s why it can get along with Neko. Tokage also hangs out a lot with Nisetsumuri, the fake snail, and Tokage (real), the actual lizard in the group.



Though they're not as visible as the Sumikkos, the Minnikos are just as cute. These characters are smaller than the Sumikkos and often appear as sidekicks. Furoshiki, Zassou, Ebifuria no Shippo, Tapioca, Hokori, Suzume, Nisetsumuri, Obake, and Yama, are all considdered Minnikos. 


Sumikko Gurashi Furoshiki

Furoshiki (ふろしき furoshiki)

Shirokuma’s furoshiki cloth that’s color pink with cream-colored spots. Not only is this cutie used as a blanket, but also as a marker for Shirokuma’s spot in the corner! 


Sumikko Gurashi Zassou

Zassou (ざっそう zassō)

Zassou might just be a shrub of weed but it has big dreams and a positive attitude! It’s closest to Neko because the calico cat waters it often. Zassou wants to be used in a bouquet at the flower shop someday!  


Sumikko Gurashi Ebifurai no Shippo

Ebifurai No Shippo (えびふらいのしっぽ ebifurai no shippo) 

When translated to English, Ebifurai no Shippo means the tail of a shrimp tempura. This kawaii character is good friends with Tonkatsu because of its fried past. It refries itself instead of taking baths just like Tonkatsu! Sometimes it also applies tartar sauce when it feels special. 


Sumikko Gurashi Tapioca

Tapioca (たぴおか tapioca) 

This group of cuties are tapioca pearls that have been leftover from a cup of milk tea.They were smiling when they were in the tea, but now they’ve just become expressionless. There’s a pastel yellow, blue, and pink Tapioca. The rarer black Tapioca is more mischievous than the others.


Sumikko Gurashi Hokori

Hokori (ほこり hokori) 

Hokori are the wisps of dust that accumulate in the corner. They’re not very good with water! Though there are a lot of them just like Tapioca, they eventually dissipate into the air. 


Sumikko Gurashi Suzume

Suzume (すずめ suzume)

This small sparrow is always flying by so that it can try to eat Tonkatsu’s crumbs. It’s friendly and energetic! Suzume is friends with Fukuro. 


Sumikko Gurashi Nisetsumuri

Nisetsumuri (にせつむり nisetsumuri) 

Nisetsumuri isn’t a snail - it’s actually just a slug wearing a shell on its back. It’s always apologetic for its dishonesty! Nisetsumuri can relate the most with Tokage who also lies about itself. 


Sumikko Gurashi Obake

Obake (おばけ obake)

This timid ghost likes funny things but it can’t laugh so much because it doesn’t want to scare people away with its big mouth. Obake lives in a corner of the attic and likes to clean.


Sumikko Gurashi Yama

Yama (やま yama) 

Yama is  small white-and-blue mountain that admires Mount Fuji the most. It often can be seen at hot springs where it stands in for the paintings of Mt. Fuji. 


This is not everything though! The Sumikko Gurashi has even more side characters than you could imagine. As we said earlier, there are about 50 characters in the Sumikko Gurashi. That’s too much to handle in this article right now, but if you want you can learn more about the other Sumikko Gurashi side characters in The Complete List of Sumikko Gurashi Characters



Sumikko Gurashi Japan

You bet! These corner-dwelling cuties have become a massive hit in Japan, their birthplace, since their creation in 2012. Whether it's Sumikko Gurashi cosmetic items, Sumikko Gurashi pouches, Sumikko Gurashi plushies, or even theme cafes, these shy little characters are everywhere you look! And their popularity is not limited to Japan - they're taking over the world one cute corner at a time!



It's not surprising that everyone wants to learn how to draw  the Sumikko Gurashi. We all want to draw the Sumikkos huddling away in the corner of our notebooks. Thankfully, there are a lot of great tutorial videos online. Just find one you like and grab some paper! 



Sumikko Gurashi Police

The Sumikko Gurashi are so loved in Japan that they’ve been turned into part of the police force not once, but twice. The group was first commissioned as the Kanagawa Police Child Safety Ambassador in 2022. The next year, in February 2023, they were also named the Toyama Prefectural Police Kizuna Ambassador. Wow! 



A lot of people ask whether the Sumikko Gurashi have an anime. While the Sumikko Gurashi characters have been featured in animated shorts and movies, they're not technically an anime series. But hey, with their increasing popularity, who knows what the future holds?


Sumikko Gurashi

For now, the Sumikko Gurashi has three animated movies. The first movie, Sumikko Gurashi The Movie - The Pop-up Book and the Secret Child, came out in 2019 and won Best Animation of the Year. The second movie, Sumikko Gurashi The Movie: A Magical Child of the Blue Moonlit Night, came out in 2021. The third one is yet to release in 2023!



The gang are so popular in Japan, they’ve inspired quite a number of video games and mobile games. Some of these games like Sumikko Gurashi Atsumare! Sumikkotown are only available on Nintendo Switch. Others like Sumikkogurashi Farm and Sumikko Gurashi - Puzzling Ways are available as apps. Check them out and give them a try! 



Sumikko Gurashi CafeJust like all the popular kawaii characters, the Sumikko Gurashi have their own cute pop-up cafes in Japan. They always serve super kawaii Sumikko Gurashi-themed drinks, desserts, and other goodies. Sometimes that includes limited-edition Sumikko Gurashi plushies. Other times they have Sumikko Gurashi collectibles too!  Though the pop-up cafes are only around for a limited time, fans get to experience what it’s like to have a calm cafe meal with the Sumikko Gurashi! 



So there you have it – your quick, fun introduction to the heartwarmingly shy world of Sumikko Gurashi! Whether you're already a fan or just got your first peek into their corner-loving lives, one thing's for sure - these endearing characters sure know how to leave a lasting impression!


Sumikko Gurashi Sunset

Remember, life might sometimes push us into corners, but as Sumikko Gurashi teaches us, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it might just be the coziest, most comforting place to be. So, embrace your inner Sumikko and enjoy the little things in life! Until next time, stay kawaii!


  • I LOVE SUMIKKO GURASHI!! but you didn’t include my favorite character! where’s cotton ):

    Mitchelle on

  • Tokage’s the best but they’re all just sooo cuuuuuute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    rilakkumaenjoyer on

  • You did not include the blue lizard?!

    Faye on

  • Thanks for this wonderful article!
    I always love learning more about these adorable little corner dwellers. They bring me such joy!!!
    My favorite is Tokage, the little lake monster!

    Leo on

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