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What is doujinshi?

While most displays of doujinshi can have graphic images, this one is pretty safe.

Dōjinshi (同人誌?, often transliterated as doujinshi) is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines, manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the work of amateurs, though some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular industry. … Groups of dōjinshi artists refer to themselves as a sākuru (サークル?, circle). A number of such groups actually consist of a single artist: they are sometimes called kojin sākuru (個人サークル?, personal circles).

en.wikipedia.org

Where does one buy doujinshi in Tokyo?

 

Mandarake & K-Books on Otome Road (Ikebukuro)

Otome Road begins at the Animate and ends at the three-story K-Books Dōjin-kan. This K-Books is probably the single best dōjinshi store in all of Tokyo. They have dōjinshi for every conceivable fandom, and they usually have the same dōjinshi for less money (¥210 as opposed to ¥420) than at the Mandarake you passed on the way. They also have tons of original dōjinshi and dōjinshi sets (all of the dōjinshi in a series, or a dōjinshi packaged with extras like fans or postcards).

japaneseliterature.wordpress.com

 

Mandarake also has locations in Shibuya, Akihabara and Nakano, as well as other locations throughout Japan.

Mandarake and K-BOOKS 同人館(K-BOOKS Doujin) are doujinshi heaven, filled with shelves and shelves of doujinshi, both old and new. I bought most of my doujinshi from K-BOOKS doujin. If you can only stop over at one store, I strongly recommend K-BOOKS Doujin, which has pretty much the largest collection of doujinshi out of all the mentioned stores.

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Comiket

Comiket (コミケット Komiketto?), otherwise known as the Comic Market (コミックマーケット Komikku Māketto?), is the world’s largest dōjinshi fair, held twice a year in Tokyo, Japan.[1] The first Comiket was held on December 21, 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees.[2] Attendance has since swelled to over a half million people.[1] It is a grassroots, DIY effort for selling dōjinshi, self-published Japanese works.

en.wikipedia.org

How much do they cost?

 

The Prices

Second-hand doujinshi typically fall under three categories of prices: 210 Yen, 420 Yen and 630 Yen (all inclusive of tax). Compilations are more expensive – 1000 Yen and above. I’m not sure if there is any particular method that the shops adopt to price the doujinshi. I suppose rarity and original price are taken into account). However, the same doujinshi may not cost the same price across all shops!

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What should I watch out for?

 

Doujinshi are often notoriously known for graphic – mostly pornographic – covers and content, especially those meant for men. Depending on the store, the displays may be more tame than others.

Watch out for R-18 doujinshi, which contains adult content (unless you’re looking for it). Usually this will be displayed on the cover of the doujinshi.

Finally, some doujinshi authors also publish their fanfiction – which is all text, but with a drawn cover so that it appears to be manga. This is harder to avoid, as the cover won’t explicitly tell you if the doujinshi is manga or text.

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