In 1993 Takashi Murakami created Mr. DOB as an alter ego, a sort of self-portrait.
Mr. DOB has a circular head with two ears; the letter D is inscribed on his left ear and the letter B on the right ear. The face is O-shaped, thus making his name legible.
DOB is a contraction of the dada-like phrase, “Dobojite dobojite” (Why? Why?), derived from the comic book Inakappe Taisho, and “oshamanbe,” a catchphrase of Japanese comedian Toru Yuri.
With Mr. DOB, Murakami sought to create an icon, which, while authentically Japanese, would have universal appeal.
Murakami drew on elements of a character called Doraemon – a cat-like robot from manga – Japanese comic books – and anime, or animation. Sonic the Hedgehog – a character from video games and anime – was another influence.Follow @ispyer