The Yukkuri phenomenon began some time in early 2008 when an anonymous Japanese message board user attempted to post ASCII art of Reimu and Marisa saying "YUKKURI SHITE ITTE NE!"("TAKE IT EASY!"), due to his mistake the heads were cut off, creating something monstrous.
Other users mercilesly ridiculed his mistake, and it was soon made into an image of the two disembodied heads yelling "YUKKURI SHITE ITTE NE!"("TAKE IT EASY!") at the viewer, and it became a meme.
_,,....,,_ ＿人人人人人人人人人人人人人人人＿ -''":::::::::::::｀''＞ ゆっくりしていってね！！！ ＜ ヽ:::::::::::::::::::::￣^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^Ｙ^￣ |::::::;ノ´￣＼:::::::::::＼_,. -‐ｧ ＿_ _____ ＿_____ |::::ﾉ ヽ､ヽr-r'"´ （.__ ,´ _,, '-´￣￣｀-ゝ 、_ イ、 _,.!イ_ _,.ﾍｰｧ'二ﾊ二ヽ､へ,_7 'r ´ ヽ、ﾝ、 ::::::rｰ''7ｺ-‐'"´ ; ', ｀ヽ/｀7 ,'＝=─- -─=＝', i r-'ｧ'"´/ /! ﾊ ハ ! iヾ_ﾉ i ｲ iゝ、ｲ人レ／_ルヽｲ i | !イ´ ,' | /__,.!/ V ､!__ﾊ ,' ,ゝ ﾚﾘｲi (ﾋ_] ﾋ_ﾝ ).| .|、i .|| `! !/ﾚi' (ﾋ_] ﾋ_ﾝ ﾚ'i ﾉ !Y!"" ,＿__, "" 「 !ﾉ i | ,' ﾉ !'" ,＿__, "' i .ﾚ' L.',. ヽ _ﾝ L」 ﾉ| .| （ ,ﾊ ヽ _ﾝ 人! | ||ヽ、 ,ｲ| ||ｲ| / ,.ﾍ,）､ ）＞,､ _____, ,.イ ハ レ ル｀ ー--─ ´ルﾚ ﾚ´
Development of the meme
The meme kept mutating, here's a rough timeline: (Note: we need more info on chronology and timelines, the following order is just guessing)
- The creatures became known as Yukkuri, and were no longer thought of as heads of Reimu and Marisa, but as standalone entities, this opened up the possibility for their further modifications.
- The first uses of Yukkuri in art seems to have been as surreal subjects of randomness, somewhat like longcat or lolwut pear.
- The heads became slightly disfigured. The originals had a very rounded underside very much like a ball on the ground. As the yukkuri started becoming sentient creatures, the underside became more flattened, resembling a Slime from the DragonWarrior series.
- Someone noticed they don't look like heads at all, but like manjuu with some facial features, and people started to think of them that way. (I believe it was Makako who first made them into manjuu, and gave them fillings)
- They started appearing in text stories, pictures and short comics, usually doing silly things, like riding in a cardboard-box with attached wheels (Suiii), or simply exclaiming their catchphrase.
- Some images of Yukkuri bullying were posted, and become popular. For example, teasing a yukkuri with a taiyaki suspended right outside its reach, or pinching their cheeks to make them cry.
- The role of Makako should be mentioned. He(or she) was the first to create some of the staples of Yukkuri stories - pinching their cheek, light bullying, the fact that they are edible manjuu, and the concept of "refreshing!" - though only a lone Reimu getting refreshed from a cellphone on vibe, and Makako has yet to draw any yukkuri sex/births. Makako was also the first to draw yukkuri death, the Reimu owned by Sanae getting crushed by Kanako's defense pillars (and it even resurected in a later sketch). Despite this, Makako does not draw any guro or violent torture, only light bullying.
- Gradually, the violence was becoming more and more popular. The stories turned into sadistic tortures and guro. The violent images became known as "bean paste splattering", because Yukkuri were depicted as manjuu filled with paste.
- New types of Yukkuri were introduced, and a lore detailing their properties started to form.
- The meme spread to other boards (Note: could use the dates of first Yukkuri threads on poolshmer and 4chan) and countries.
- The forms of torture started turning more and more elaborate, authors going to lengths to examine just how much a Yukkuri body and mind can be broken.
(Note: Instead of bulleted list, we could as well split it into phases like, "early days", "rise" and "decadency")
A History of Yukkuri Violence
- The very first Yukkuri death is not known for certain, but it may have been the "treadmill comic" from Tenkoma, in which a Marisa Yukkuri lures a Reimu onto a treadmill which becomes a trap.
- Alternatively, it may have been Makako's comic showing Sanae's Yukkuri Reimu getting crushed by Kanako's defense pillars.