Rilakkuma (リラックマ; literally a combination of the Japanese pronunciation of relax and the Japanese word for bear ) is a Japanese character produced by the San-X company. All that is known about Rilakkuma's back story is that one day he appeared in the apartment of a office worker named Kaoru. Rilakkuma wears brown bear suits, as in the picture books Rilakkuma is frequently seen sitting around waiting for suits that look exactly like him to dry on the clothes line. True to his name, Rilakkuma greatly enjoys relaxing. He is often accompanied by Korilakkuma, who is a smaller white bear with a mischievous personality, and Kiiroitori, a yellow chick who plays a tsukkomi role. Korilakkuma frequently plays pranks on Rilakkuma whilst he is sleeping, such as drawing on him, putting headphones on him and sewing odd color patches on his bear suits. Rilakkuma's favorite foods include mochi , pancakes , and doughnuts . Rilakkuma has been increasing in popularity since his debut in 2003. For his third anniversary, San-X introduced many new items depicting the character in celebration. For his fifth anniversary, Rilakkuma and his friends are dressed in royal-style clothes. Related items include pastry marketed under Rilakkuma Cafe brand. Many toys, stickers, stuffed animals, clothes, electronics, and various accessories are marketed under the Rilakkuma name.
The San-X company puts staff members under obligation to create one cute character per month. A member of the company named Aki Kondo saw a TV show about dogs, in which an owner loved and took care of his or her dog very much. She wished to own a pet because at that time she was very busy working and hoped for a more relaxing life. Rilakkuma is an embodiment of her wish.