What is that?! A Living Salmon Sushi Creature? Meet Salmon Nigiris and its 150+ Friends!!


Ever wondered what sushi would be like alive? Freelance designer Kumakuro has, and brought the idea to life - over 150 of them in fact!! 

The hashtag #多分私しかやってない (Tabun watashi shika yattenai - I’m probably the only one doing this) on Twitter showcases a lot of fun and unique things people are doing in Japan. Sometimes it leads to viral tweets. 

Which is what happened to this particular tweet by a freelance designer who goes by the username Kumakuro. Past tweets have been popular too, but this one reached 122.2k likes!

And no wonder! Kumakuro has not only drawn but come up with names and explanations for over 150 living sushi creatures. They are called “Sushi Nigiris”, taken from the sushi term “nigiri” which means “shaped by hand”.

Some appear more dinosaur-like, while others look more like Pokemon or kaiju that would appear in a Godzilla movie.  

Meet Nigiris

Each Nigiris has its own appearance, quirks and "related species". 

Take for example this Salmon Nigiris which

  • has a fatty epidermis
  • lives all over the country
  • has many different forms (check out Aburi-salmon Nigiris, King Salmon Nigiris, etc. above!)
  • built up a sweet layer of fat to protect itself from the cold winter

Or Norimakimaki which

  • stands out in the "maki" (roll) species for its roundness
  • usually travels in a herd
  • has a hard "nori" (seaweed) shell
  • comes with a unique pattern on its side (check out Kaisenmakimaki (Seafood Roll),  Takanamakimaki (Takana Roll), Yakinikumakimaki (Grilled Meat Roll) to its right below)


And you can get a whole encyclopedia about them! In 「新説静物図鑑 Shinsetsu Seibutsu Zukan」- New Encylopedia of Inanimate Objects - Kumakuro carefully explains their personalities, where they live, and their variations, as if they are truly a species you can find and study in the wild. 

How are they made?

The process is simple, according to Kumakuro, who first draws the inanimate food item exactly as it looks, and then imagines them as creatures. Fun names are given - names that make you think of dinosaurs or kaiju - and personalities are born.


Does this Salmon Nigiris not look like an actual lovable creature that exists? Or at the very least, like a creature that would appear in a Ghibli film! I want to meet and hold one!

Salmon Nigiris

You can even encounter or own some in “real life” now - such as this Maguro Nigiris next to the tuna sushi that served as its inspiration - as soft plastic models of these sushi nigiris are being made. 


Other Creative Variations

Is sushi not really your thing? Or looking for other foods?

Then how about Vegetalions


Or breads and desserts? Personally the Chocotarutodon with the pink heart is my favorite. Can you spot it? The Eclairsu and Shu-eclairsu at the top right are also impressive!!


And more!! The ideas seem endless!

It’ll be fun to see what food inspires Kumakuro next! 

In the meantime, in addition to the encyclopedias, you can also get acrylic keychains at their online store! How about grabbing your favorite?

Acrylic Nigiris

Follow Kumakuro on Twitter to see the fun food creatures come to life next! 

Photos provided courtesy of Kumakuro on Twitter.


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