What is Doujinshi?

What is Doujinshi? Anime

This article briefly introduces the difference between doujinshi and manga (comic book magazine), the different forms, and binding methods.

What is a Doujinshi?

Doujinshi is an abbreviation for coterie magazine, which is created by individuals or circles/organizations that share the same interests and aspirations and fund themselves.

Manga, on the other hand, is a magazine that is distributed to bookstores nationwide and online through publishers and other commercial publications.

Doujin” refers to a group of people who share the same ideas, principles, interests, and hobbies. Doujinshi are magazines or journals written, edited, and published jointly by these coterie members. The history of “dojinshi” dates back to the late 19th century. The first doujinshi in Japan was called “Garakuta Bunko,” a self-financed publication of literary and

artistic works by the literary association “Kenyusha,” led by novelist Momiji Ozaki and others. It is said that the activities of “Garakuta Bunko” had a great impact on the literary world in later years.

Personal Magazines

A personal magazine is a coterie magazine created by a single author. It is the mainstream publication format for coterie magazines today. The advantage of a personal magazine is that it allows the author to develop the appearance of the booklet to his/her satisfaction and to pursue story development and expression as much as the author’s funds allow.

One of the reasons why individual magazines have become mainstream is that the cost of producing a booklet has become less expensive than in the past, and there is no longer a need for several people to invest in the production of a magazine, and the Internet has become an easier place to present works to readers.

Joint Journals

A joint magazine is a coterie magazine in which several authors gather under a specific genre and each contributes to the publication costs. A joint magazine is also when it is made by several authors who are each working as an independent circle, or when contains the works of several authors who belong to the same circle. In this respect, it is similar to an “anthology” of a commercial magazine.


A fanzine is a magazine in which fans gather to publish criticism and creative works.
It is often used to refer to science fiction-related magazines, but some believe this is because dojinshi originated in science fiction-related fields, and dojinshi used to be called fanzines.

Differences between Doujinshi and Manga

The greatest advantage of a doujinshi is that it is a booklet that can present expression more freely than a manga. Doujinshi include literary works such as novels, first-rate creative works, second-rate works based on existing manga, anime, and video games, and other genres such as cosplay photo collections and specialized magazines that focus deeply on a particular hobby. It is a place where you can freely express yourself without the intervention of a publishing company.

The disadvantage of doujinshi is that they are often self-published by a coterie members or individuals, so they are published through distribution channels that do not go through commercial publishing houses such as publishing companies.

Therefore, all publishing costs must be borne by the coterie or individual. On the other hand, the advantage of manga is that the cost of publication is less than that of a coterie magazine.

Manga (magazine) is classified as a “commercial magazine” that is published through a publishing company. Therefore, the author does not have to bear any of the expenses of commercial publishing, such as production costs, advertising, and distribution costs to bookstores, to publish a manga. However, the publisher owns the rights to sell or reprint the published manga, and the author may be required to conform to the publisher’s wishes in terms of ideas, planning, editing, etc. This is a disadvantage.

Distribution Channels for Doujinshi

The main sales channels for doujinshi are the “Comic Market” doujinshi exhibition, consignment sales at bookstores that sell doujinshis, Internet download sales, Internet auctions, and direct sales from doujinshi circles to individuals.

Doujinshi Sokutai, which has become very popular in recent years, has developed independently in Japan, and is said to be one of the reasons why Japanese works of expressions such as manga, anime, and games have come to attract worldwide attention.

How to make a doujinshi

There are two ways to create a manuscript: digital manuscripts, which are created on a computer, and analog manuscripts, which are created manually.

Recently, with the development of the Internet and digital terminals, digital manuscripts have become the most common method of creation and submission. When submitting an analog manuscript, it is necessary to mail or bring the manuscript to the printing company. Some printing companies do not support analog manuscripts, so it is a good idea to check with them beforehand.

Application Procedures for Doujinshi Sokai

To apply for a coterie magazine exhibition, the first search for the coterie magazine exhibition you wish to attend on the Internet. Once you find the doujinshi exhibition you wish to attend, access the official website and apply. Generally, you can either mail in an application form or submit an online application form, and many events charge an entry fee.

The application process takes about two to three months, and for large-scale Comiket events, applications may be accepted up to six months in advance. Many events have a lottery system, so preparing the application form and completing the procedures as early as possible is advisable.