Introduce of manga Dojinshi – Part 1

Just as Japan’s comic industry dwarfs America’s, so Japan’s small press output is bigger than the professional American comic industry. The basics of dôjinshi (literally “same-person publications”) is much the same as the small-press areas at American anime or comics conventions, where people sell comics with a print run of anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand. Like fan fiction, dôjinshi often pays tribute to, and parodies, mainstream manga.

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            Dôjinshi became a major subculture in the 1970s, not long after the collapse of the 1960s underground comics scene and alternative manga magazines such as Com. College manga clubs (manga kekyûkai) still needed an outlet for their works, and began to trade and sell books at conventions, such as Tokyo’s twice-yearly Comic Market (Comiket for short), which began in December 1975. Such college groups were the prototypical “dôjinshi circles,” small groups of friends who worked together on comics, often each contributing a short story. Unlike the gender-divided mainstream comic industry, dôjinshi conventions were attended by a mixture of male and female artists, with female groups in the majority. High school and college-age women, with less academic and career pressure (and fewer opportunities), had more time to draw than their male counterparts. In the 1980s, the spread of yaoi dôjinshi (see the YAOI section) and other pop-culture parodies attracted growing numbers of fans, and convention attendance rose rapidly. Today, Comic Market has an attendance of over 500,000 people, and smaller dôjinshi conventions, often based on particular shows or subsets of fandom, go on throughout the year. 

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