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Wikipe-tan is the Moe anthropomorphism of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Introduction[edit | edit source]
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 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 祖 is a kanji character apparently changed from the puzzle-ball's 袓, the latter being a Chinese character not used in Japanese. The most up-to-date picture by Kasuga shows her wearing the characters 維 (being the first character of Wikipedia's Chinese name) and the correct Japanese katakana ウィ from the current Wikipedia logo.
Background[edit | edit source]
The general idea for a "Wikipe-tan" mascot was posted on January 5, 2006, by the anonymous Taiwanese IP address 184.108.40.206, who suggested a mascot "just like OS-tan" on the Wikipedia mascot vote.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,and two of the images were uploaded to Commons and added directly to the discussion on January 18.
Kasuga has stated that when designing Wikipe-tan and, later, her sisters, he "kept two advices"Template:Sic 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.
On March 29, 2007, Wikipe-tan was joined by mascots for Wikipedia's sister projects, Commons-tan and Quote-tan. Kasuga has stated "...new 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, though he has since noted that he personally dislikes the character.
Use on Wikipedia and Wikimedia organizations[edit | edit source]
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 8, 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, Wikipe-tan also acted as the mascot of the Counter-Vandalism Unit since their previous logo had been removed in February 2006 due to trademark and copyright-related complications. In August 2008 a new image replaced Wikipe-tan, though the old logo with Wikipe-tan was still used on the Project template until March 2011.
In June 2007, a suggestive image of Wikipe-tan was proposed to be used in the article on lolicon. The image was removed from Commons by Jimbo Wales, who called Wikipe-tan a "community mascot" who should not be subject to such "pedophilic sexualization". 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 cbk-zam.wikipedia.org and has been since June 27, 2008 (and was then made bigger on July 22, 2009).