What is Doujinshi?

Doujinshi is an entirely new experience of self-published authors who create their own art from already-published series.

dōjinshi = doujinshi = 同人誌As Wikipedia explains,”The term dōjinshi is derived from dōjin (同人, literally “same person”, used to refer to a person or persons with whom one shares a common goal or interest)and shi (誌, a suffix generally meaning “periodical publication”).”

Dōjinshi(同人誌?, often transliterated as doujinshi) is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines,manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the workof amateurs, though some professional artists participate asa way to publish material outside the regular industry.

Dōjinshi are part of a wider category of dōjin including art collections,anime,hentai and games. Groups of dōjinshi artists refer to themselves as a sākuru(サークル?,circle). A number of such groups actually consist of a single artist: they are sometimes called kojin sākuru(個人サークル?, personal circles).

+So, what’s the difference between “doujin” and”doujinshi”?

“Doujinshi” is an art, anime, manga, or game created by armatures for other people who like the same thing. “Doujin” isjust a group of people who share a common interest.

The pioneer among dōjinshi wasMeiroku Zasshi(明六雑誌), publishedin the earlyMeiji period(since 1874).

During the 1980s, the content of dōjinshi shifted from being predominantly original content to being mostly parodic of existing series.

Photocopying during the 1970s contributed to an increase in publishing dojinshi. During this time, manga editors were encouraging manga authors to appealto a mass market, which may have also contributed to an increase in the popularity of writing dojinshi.

The practice of creating dōjinshi has expanded significantly, attracting thousands of creators and fans alike. Advances in personal publishing technology have also fueled this expansion by making it easier for dōjinshi creators to write, draw, promote, publish, and distribute their works. For example, some dōjinshi are now published on digital media.

The most puzzling feature about the doujinshi market, for those trained in law, at least, is that it is allowed to exist at all. Under Japanese copyright law, which in this respect (on paper) mirrors western copyright law, the doujinshi market is an illegal one. Doujinshi are plainly”derivative works.” There is no general practice by doujinshi artists of securing the permission of the manga creators.

Instead, the practice is simply to take and modify the creations of others,”taking” without the permission of the original copyright owner is illegal. It is an infringement of the original copyright to make a copy or a derivative work without the original copyright owner’s permission.

Doujinshi are technically illegal in Japan, but companies tend to turn a blind eye to the practice because doujinshi serve to grow a fandom for the original series, and doujinshi circles are a great place for publishers to harvest new talent.

Occasionally, a company will go after a doujinshi circle for copyright infringement, such as in the case of Nintendo and some pokemon doujinshi back in 1999, but for the most part, doujinshiis seen as a positive force and an important expression of fandom, in spite of the copyright laws.

Since the 1980s, the main method of distribution has been through regular dōjinshi conventions, the largest of which is called Comiket(short for “Comic Market”) held in the summer and winter in Tokyo’s Big Sight.Also through sale via the net or other services that sale and published hard and soft copy doujinshi.

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