Boku wa Kuma

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"Boku wa Kuma"
Single by Utada Hikaru
from the album Heart Station
Released November 22, 2006
Format CD, CD+DVD, CD+Picture Book
Recorded 2006
Genre J-pop, novelty
Length 2:23
Label EMI Music Japan
Songwriter(s) Utada Hikaru
Producer(s) Utada Hikaru
Utada Hikaru singles chronology
"This Is Love"
"Boku wa Kuma"
"Flavor of Life"

"Boku wa Kuma" (ぼくはくま, lit. I'm a Bear) is Utada Hikaru's 17th Japanese single (24th single overall). The single was released on November 22 of 2006, just a matter of months after Hikaru's last studio effort, Ultra Blue, and only two months after the end of her tour, Utada United 2006.[1]


"Boku wa Kuma" was her first try at writing a children's song. On October 1, 2006, it aired on the children's music program Minna no Uta on radio, and on TV the day after. Due to strong demand, the song had been planned for continuous rebroadcasting from October 2006 to January 2007 on Minna no Uta.[2]

"Boku wa Kuma" was Utada's first single release to have three different pressings: a limited edition that included a picture book, a standard single and cover, and a CD+DVD combo pack, which included the music video.

The song is about a bear, what he can and cannot do, and what he is not (such as a car, chocolate, etc.). His rival is a fried shrimp.

Utada owns a stuffed bear named Kuma-chan; "kuma" is "bear" in Japanese, and "-chan" is an affectionate suffix added to names. She often posts photos of him on her U3 blog. After discovering the "made in China" tag on Kuma-chan's bottom, he was given the full name of "Kuma Chang" (which is technically pronounced identically to "Kuma-chan" in Japanese anyway). A staff pass was issued to him for the "Utada United 2006." tour.[3]

In June 2006, Utada confessed on her blog that she has "pillow dependence".[4] She calls her pillow "makura-san" (Mr. Pillow). She enjoys the comfort of feeling the pillow against her face, and would even hold the pillow all day long when she's stressed out. She was later surprised to find out there are many "pillow-addicts" out there, and joked about setting up a "pillow club". 'Makura-san' and Kuma are apparently good friends.[5]

Utada performed an impromptu performance of "Boku wa Kuma" at the Boston show of her 2010 tour, Utada: In The Flesh 2010.

The song was performed during Utada's two date concert series Wild Life in December 2010.[6]

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Boku wa Kuma (ぼくはくま)" 2:23
2. "Boku wa Kuma (Original Karaoke)" 2:25

Chart rankings

Charts (2006) Peak
Oricon Weekly singles[7] 4
RIAJ Reco-kyō ringtones Top 100[8] 14

Certifications and sales

Chart Amount
Oricon physical sales[9] 147,000
RIAJ physical certification[10] 100,000+
RIAJ full-length cellphone downloads[11] 100,000+


  1. ^ Yahoo! Taiwan news article[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Minna no Uta official site
  3. ^ (in Japanese) U3MUSIC INC Archived May 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ (in Japanese) U3MUSIC INC Archived June 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ (in Japanese) U3MUSIC INC Archived June 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "宇多田ヒカル一時休止前ラスト公演で感涙&Ust新記録樹立" (in Japanese). Natalie. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  7. ^ "ぼくはくま - 宇多田ヒカル/ オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  8. ^ "レコード協会調べ 12月度有料音楽配信チャート(「着うた(R)」)<略称:12月度レコ協チャート(「着うた(R)」)>" (in Japanese). RIAJ. 2007-01-20. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  9. ^ "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon. Retrieved 2010-09-18. (subscription only)
  10. ^ ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2006年11月. RIAJ (in Japanese). 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  11. ^ レコード協会調べ 2月度有料音楽配信認定 <略称:2月度認定>. RIAJ (in Japanese). 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
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