Doujinshi and Comiket: A Day of 'Hare'

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Abstract

Since 1975, the increasing success of Comiket (Comic Market) stands testament to the popularity of doujinshi in Japan. At first attracting only 700 visitors, Comiket now attracts roughly one million visitors yearly, with nine million doujinshi sold per market. Meiji University’s Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library is entirely dedicated to the collection and preservation of hundreds of thousands of fancomics – their status elevated to that of high cultural and historical worth, worthy of their own archive. Whilst doujinshi are now a valued commodity, seen as inextricable from the manga industry, they are still categorically illegal. Doujinshi (fan-comics) are hailed as the foundation of the Manga industry, supporting creative talent, craft tradition and financial revenue. There are many practical legal defenses for doujinshi that are widely agreed upon, a symbiosis that has been acknowledged by lawyers and academics, creators and fans alike. Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commented that doujinshi ‘operate in a different market’ to original manga, and therefore do not warrant litigation. These arguments sit well with Japanese lawyers, but if doujinshi have proven so beneficial to the Japanese comic industry,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-230
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Comics
Volume9.2
Issue number2018 Dec
Early online date12 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2019

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