Welcome, fellow enthusiasts of the WordPress universe! Today, I embark on a whimsical journey through the history and origin of one of the most endearing mascots in the web development community, the Wapuu. I decided to do this with all the WordPress in person events happening around the world as restrictions are lifted and things get back to normal. So, strap in for an exploration of its humble beginnings, evolution, and the vibrant community that has embraced this adorable creature. As an added bonus I have also included a section of Wapuu that I have selected as my favourites.
The Birth of Wapuu
The story of Wapuu begins in 2011 when the first-ever WordCamp in Japan took place. As the WordPress community gathered to share ideas and expertise, a need for a unique mascot arose. Enter Kazuko Kaneuchi, the talented artist behind the creation of Wapuu. Inspired by the Japanese culture and the WordPress logo, Wapuu made its debut as a lovable, pixelated character, donning the unmistakable “W” on its chest (pictured above).
From its modest origins, Wapuu quickly became a global sensation, transcending cultural boundaries and capturing the hearts of WordPress enthusiasts worldwide. The beauty of Wapuu lies in its adaptability—communities around the globe began creating their own variations, giving birth to a diverse and colorful family of Wapuus.
Global Wapuu Adoption
WordCamps and WordPress meetups became the breeding grounds for new Wapuus. Communities from different countries and cities took inspiration from their local culture, integrating unique elements into their Wapuu designs. The result? A vast collection of Wapuus representing various regions, each with its own story and charm.
Wapuu and the WordPress Community
Wapuu serves as more than just a mascot, it embodies the spirit of the WordPress community. With an open-source mindset and a commitment to inclusivity, Wapuu has become a symbol of unity and collaboration. Its presence at WordCamps and WordPress events fosters a sense of camaraderie among developers, designers, and users alike.
The Legacy Continues
As the WordPress ecosystem continues to thrive, so does the legacy of Wapuu. New WordCamps, meetups, and events give birth to fresh, imaginative Wapuus, ensuring that this beloved mascot remains an integral part of the WordPress experience. The community-driven nature of Wapuu’s evolution is a testament to the strength and creativity of the WordPress family.
While researching about the Wapuu, I came across a few that I figured I would discuss here. These particular Wapuu were picked because of my work in accessibility and the fact I live in Ontario, Canada.
The Accessipuu was discovered for the San Fernando Valley (California) WordPress Community and a three-Meetup event celebrating the first WordPress Accessibility Day, Oct 2-3, 2020. A hero for Accessibility, it fights trolls and advocates for good #a11y.
DISCOVERER marktimemedia & GoDaddy
LOCATION Philadelphia, PA
FIRST APPEARANCE December 1, 2016 WordCamp US 2016
REGION North America
Ottawa Wapuu Mountie
Canadian Wapuu wearing a Mountie Hat
LOCATION Ottawa, Canada
FIRST APPEARANCE May 18, 2016 WordCamp Ottawa 2016
REGION North America
In the ever-expanding world of WordPress, Wapuu stands as a testament to the power of community and collaboration. From its inception at a WordCamp in Japan to its global presence today, Wapuu has evolved into more than just a mascot—it’s a symbol of unity, creativity, and the vibrant spirit that defines the WordPress community. So, next time you encounter a Wapuu, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and the global journey that this adorable character represents.