同人要素[doujin youso]

July 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm (BL, cosplay(コスプレ), doujin(同人), otaku word)

 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.



  1. usagijen said,

    同人だからといって「同人」という言葉は分かりやすくなるとは限らない。。。かなぁ?:3 (felt like making a pun out of this hehe)
    同人はこんなにややこしいなんて思わなかった @_@

    • bangin said,


      But most female doujin fans are not willing to say things directly. I feel for them, so I hope there would be better words coming out. 🙂

  2. Micchi said,

    I personally believe that it is best to be frank and tell your readers what your site is really about. If there are 18+ content, then there should be a disclaimer. I do agree that 同人 has such a vague meaning now though…

    • bangin said,

      Yes, it is best to be frank. That even means to protect your site and yourself. We are just pursuing what we love, and there is no need to hesitate. But if we get in a trouble because of disclaimers, we have to come up with a way to work out.

  3. Ketaikeon said,

    Most American-made doujinshi is online at websites like deviantart.com. Outside of the internet, doujinshi is relatively uncommon, as far as I know, in the United States except in anime conventions, where the vendors are usually Japanese/Chinese who have connections to artists in Asia. I believe it is because, in the US, people sue each other a lot, leading American otaku to fear the legal issues behind making doujinshi of a copyrighted series.

    Also, I think it’s good to have warnings of yaoi or BL; after all, it narrows down the term “doujinshi” and gives a fair warning to people who may look at it.

    • bangin said,

      I was wondering how American doujin fans purchase a doujinshi outside of the internet, and who vendors are. I heard any Japan-make doujinshi are very expensive at anime conventions in America.

      I always see a warning when I even browse such a video on Youtube.

  4. Hinano said,



    Actually I just upload my stuff to pixiv/deviantart now so I don’t need to worry about putting any kind of warnings/disclaimers. I mean if you look @ my gallery you should be able to tell what kind of things I am drawing…so you should know whether or not you want to follow my artwork ^^

    • bangin said,


      Oh yes, deviantart! I know most cosplayers use it, and actually most of my non-Japanese cosplay buddies like it. And also people who do fanart use such a gallery website. ^^ I use picasa to upload my cosplaying photos, but I am planning to try other uploaders…

  5. Shii said,

    Fujoshi websites in America are often direct about the 18+ content (because of widespread squeamishness), but also somewhat… foxy? Oblique? I don’t know the word.

    • bangin said,

      Oh 18+ content. That is easy to understand! Then we shall say 18禁要素. I think it is better to tell frankly to make sure disclaimers don’t come in. Some of Japanese fujoshi bloggers use 18禁要素 or アダルト表現. But not much…

  6. miz said,

    I believe that bloggers usually disclaim a lot about the work or writing to be 18+ or not work safe. So it is at the discretion of the viewer. I wrote one or two blog entries that are 18+ relevant materials.. and often go on other blogs to write of my passions. Other than that – don’t talk about it, since it is such a niche thing.

    • bangin said,

      Although I notify I am a cosplayer on About, I do wonder everyone accepts this. I haven’t got any disclaimers so far, but it is not sure what happens in the future.

  7. goodyfun said,

    This whole thing reminds me of a conversation I had with my friend. I was talking about how I prefer to, and mostly read Doujinshi lately, since it isn’t commercial and can be as creative and interesting as the writer/artist wants.

    And because my friend is Japanese, she understood the “other meaning” the word Doujinshi has (She reads that kind a lot herself.), so she gives me this “look”. Then I say, “Yes… ‘That kind’ too.” ^^;

  8. goodyfun said,

    P.S. I doubt people checking out your blog would have anything against cosplay, and you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

    There are people who think cosplay’s odd, but when they think of cosplayers that are odd, they think of the weirder costumes, like from Naruto (The unattractive store bought ones specifically). Your cosplays mostly are like fashion more then cosplay, which people who don’t like cosplay would more readily accept.

    • bangin said,

      Most of my cosplays are like fashion; school uniforms, a business suit, kinagashi, a waiter boy. Cosplay-like is just Zero in all of my cosplays at best. Because I always choose a character whose costume really suits me, and also cosplaying is to act a character I cosplay in my opinion.

  9. Marie said,

    I usually input if you are not familiar with the term BL, Yaoi and/or Doujinshi, I highly recommend not viewing any of the contents, and I also indicate that you may still view the content, but at your own risk. But than again, I rarely draw 18 or 19+ materials ^^;; I’m more like 17.99 ^^! lol xD

    I usually purchase doujinshi by contacting the artist directly ^^! Many of them actually do an international sale, but it takes time and high shipping cost o(>.<)o! But it’s all worth it, and you can even ask for the signature! hehe ^^v

    • bangin said,

      That explains why a lot of doujin fans come to Japan to buy doujinshi. I live in Japan, so I just go buy. Considering that fact, I am very lucky.

      Oh I am more like 17.99, too! lol

  10. goodyfun said,

    Ah, yes! You’re still cosplaying when you dress as any character! …And you’re good at it. What I meant was outfits that are less like Halloween costumes won’t scare people off the same way as something that’s more like the costume a movie actor would wear (Like a wig, shirt, pants, a little makeup, etc.).

    I didn’t mean to insinuate anything. orz

    • bangin said,

      I know what you mean, never mind. ^^

  11. 子犬 said,

    I rarely ever read doujinshi. I guess would be why I have never heard of this. I wish conventions were where I live. There is nothing like that in my city.

    Is this really so in Doujinshi, that they mean the same thing? What happened to original stories? 😦

    • bangin said,

      Doujin fans tend to form a group to make a fan-made comic, that is a doujinshi. The group consists of the people who are interested in or love the same thing. Doujin means the same person, but that is to say, people who love the same thing.
      They just make a new story or whatever, using the original characters. That depends.

  12. 子犬 said,

    Yes. But is such a large percentage of them sexual? How many people do you know, read the non-sexual Doujinshi (I’m not against it. But I think it is less creative.)? Also the doujinshi I have read had original characters and stories.

    • bangin said,

      I forgot to answer this comment, I am sorry.
      I am not too sure about the percentage, but of course not all doujinshi are porn. There are also a lot of non-sexual doujinshi. Because those under 18 can’t purchase.

  13. teko-chi said,

    Well, all the American doujinshika I know say doujinshi is ‘doujin’; I try to explain why it’s confusing to them, but its hard…XD

    • bangin said,

      If doujin means doujinshi only in America, it is fine. But here, doujin means too many things; doujinshi, fanfiction, fanart, yaoi, even porn.

      Confusing, ne?

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