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Comic Market, doujinshi convention
Base Info
Term Doujin
Synonyms Fandom
Origin Zhouyi (周易)

Doujin (同人, どうじん) is a term used in Japanese to refer to "like-minded people".[1] It is also used in the ACG community.


In Japan, since the Meiji Restoration, there has been a tradition of like-minded people gathering together to publish publications in an informal format. This informal publication is called doujinshi. In the early days, it was mainly literary publications for literary lovers. After World War II, comic fandom gradually began to appear. Unlike the usual meaning now, the doujin here does not specifically refer to fan works. The original works published in an informal form are also called doujin. The doujinshi culture in the ACGN subculture in Japan can generally be traced back to the late 1960s and early 1970s. The iconic point in time was the holding of the first Comic Market doujin exhibition in 1975.

During the period of the New Culture Movement, the term "doujin" was once again active in modern Chinese. In the early May Fourth literary world, publications produced by people with similar interests were also called fan publications. At the end of the 20th century, influenced by Japan, the "doujin" culture emerged on the Chinese Internet.

The formal interpretation of modern doujin is "informal commercial creation activity"[2], so the counterpart of "doujinshi" is "commercial history", not "original work" or "home". For example, some official comics will also have a collection of fan-created short comics (official anthology comic) written by other authors, which are sometimes mistranslated as "official fanworks". This statement is actually wrong. "Official Publishing" and "Doujin" are opposites. The only situation that is close to "official fandom" even though it is not a formula publication is that the original author may also publish a fanzine in his own role. However, this situation is relatively rare.


Doujin is not a genre, but a form or channel of publication. Definitions are mostly based on their social foundation and identity, rather than creative methods and textual representations.[3]

The term "doujin" is not limited to the scope of ACG. Although the term "doujin" is widely used in the ACG field overseas, sometimes other fan creations related to the Japanese subculture are also called doujin. For example, many of the music created by the fan music club Diverse System are not related to ACG.

Some people who are exposed to fan culture for the first time may have difficulty understanding the concept, and will prejudice to describe the relationship between it and the original/prototype content as "this is all fake". But in fact, fan culture is formed out of fans’ hobbies, and it is better to use the term "Fan-made" to explain it.

In addition, it may be due to the lack of restricted content in the environment itself, or just because of human instinct, see Rule 34, leading to endless restricted works under fan fiction. Some people may therefore have a "vulgar" stereotype of fan culture.


  1. Meikyou Japanese Dictionary
  2. [1]
  3. Zheng Xiqing "Broken Wall Book-Keywords of Internet Culture"