Doujinshi booths @ Comiket 84 - Summer 2013 @ Tokyo Big Sight
Guilhem Vellut/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Doujinshi is essentially manga created by fans for fans. Typical doujinshi features characters from popular anime, manga or video games reinterpreted as humorous, romantic or even erotic manga artwork or stories.

For example, shonen manga titles with straight male characters such as or Slam Dunk are drawn as yaoi/boys love romantic/erotic stories.

Prequels, Sequels, or Embellishments

Other doujinshi may be prequels, sequels or embellishments on incidents or minor characters from popular manga or anime series such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Naruto or Trigun. There are also doujinshi that feature original stories and characters, much like independent or small press comics in the U.S. and Europe.

The Japanese publishing industry recognizes the popularity of doujinshi and often looks the other way rather than pursuing copyright infringement enforcement against fan-created manga.

Mainstream Success

In fact, many doujinshi creators get discovered and move on to mainstream manga careers with major publishers as a result of their fan-creations. CLAMP (Tsubasa, Card Captor Sakura) and Sekihiku Inui (Comic Party, Murder Princess) are two examples of creators who've gotten their start as doujinshi artists.

Doujinshi are often created by "circles" or groups of creators and are sold at events such as the twice-yearly Comic Market (Comiket) in Tokyo, via fans' websites or at manga shops. Many doujinshi are created in limited, short print-runs so doujinshi by popular creators often become coveted collector's items.

Pronunciation: DOH-jeen-shee

Alternate Spellings: Dojinshi

Common Misspellings: Dohjinshi

Examples: Examples of the world of doujinshi, otaku, and Comiket include:

  • Genshiken by Kio Shimoku (Del Rey Manga)
  • Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara (VIZ Media)
  • You can also find numerous examples of doujinshi on Deviant Art

Doujinshi is also available from comics and collectibles shops including:

  • eBay, from various sellers 
  • Berth Doujinshi Club
  • Comiket Inc.