If you own a blog or a website which relates to fanart or that sort of thing, how do you make your About? I mean, how do you appeal your site to unknown visitors?
We Japanese otaku bloggers really care about this because it could cause some troubles. First thing first though, doujin(同人) literally means same person, so most people don’t seem to be aware of the true meaning of this word unless they are otakus. The true meaning, yes, is that doujin means fan-made although this word itself doesn’t mean. 同人誌(doujinshi) is a fan-made comic as you know, but who can understand “same person” means “a fan-made comic”?
Japanese is complicated and ambiguous. If you have learned it, you must have thought like that. We don’t tell things directly, so that is why it brings about a lot of misunderstanding and troubles. At any rate, Japanese bloggers who handle doujin stuff are most likely to tell what they are doing on the profile to make sure those who are not interested don’t come in, using a word 同人要素[doujin youso], or doujin context.
同人要素 means something related to doujin, in other words, fanart, or fanfiction. Nah, it is not that clean, nor that sound. If you are familiar with doujin, you do know what I am implying? Yes, doujin even implys porn, hardcore rape, BL, cosplay or whatever. Indeed, such a simple word means a lot of things! Doujin seems to have lost the original meaning, and it doesn’t mean fan-made only. As I have said, who can understand this although doujin itself is hard to understand?
Those who often use this word are women. Men prefer to telling directly, like saying, this site contains pornographic fanarts or something like that. Nonetheless, women seem to try to tell what the contexts actually are with a simple word, 同人要素. Anyone who experinces doujin understands for sure, but if not, it would be impossible to understand.
I understand how female doujin bloggers feel, especially those who work with BL[yaoi]. They don’t want to say homosexual love or gay’s love story, but sum it up with doujin. Well, I feel sorry but it’s hard to understand.
I always notify when I introduce such a pornographic term, don’t I? そんなの注意してもあんまり意味ないような気もするけど。だってみんなエッチな言葉が大好きでしょ？（笑）But it seriously made me think how I made introduction about my BL cosplay a while ago. I didn’t want to say homosexual nor gay. I was sure either shounen-ai(少年愛) or yaoi(やおい) could possibly tell, but not to anyone. だって俺、少年じゃないもん。オジサンだもん。So I used Boys’ Love after all, but even that, I don’t think it perfectly worked. I am still worried if anyone who are not aware of BL would watch the entry.
Meanwhile, cosplay is easier to understand. I am pretty sure almost no one misunderstands. Mostly, they would say like, “Please go back if you are not interested in cosplay.” Cosplay means, if nothing else, to wear the same outfit as a character from anime, manga, game, or whatever. There is no any other meanings.
I wonder how doujin bloggers out of Japan are doing about this. Has anyone experienced any troubles? Anyway, doujin yet to be understood by general people. So we need to draw the line to make sure there would be no troubles. So I do hope more comprehensible words would come out for the two societies.