all about fujoshi

Fujoshi: Everything You Need To Know

15 May 2024Shopify API

If you’re a Fujoshi or just are a little curious about who is a Fujoshi - this blog explains all about Fujoshi. Read on to find out!

Fujoshi, a term with complex layers within fan culture, refers to female enthusiasts of manga and anime that celebrate male-male romance, known as "yaoi." This subculture has a significant impact on media and fandom dynamics.

Here's an exploration into the world of fujoshi, unraveling its intricacies and widespread appeal.

Everything You Need To Know About Fujoshi

What Is Fujoshi?

Fujoshi is a popular Japanese slang term in otaku culture. The word has three kanji letters (腐女子) and it means “spoiled girl”. The word Fujoshi can also have another meaning when the first kanji letter is altered and this would mean “respectable woman” or “married woman”.

But why are both terms referred to as Fujoshi? It’s just a concept of double meaning that even married or respectable women can be Fujoshis as in “spoiled girls”.

Source: Instagram 

However, the word Fujoshi with the kanji letters (腐女子) is a reference to an Otaku subculture and is a derogatory term. 

It’s a term used to refer to women who are captivated by anime and manga content that portray romantic and sexual relationships between gay men. Now you might have a slight idea as to why Fujoshi is a controversial topic.

Furthermore, Fujoshi girls aren’t only prevalent across the anime and manga fandom. They can also be women who are fantasizing about gay men in a romantic or sexual relationship without being a spectator of a specific anime or manga. 

Fujoshi women can be all across the world. While some Fujoshi girls expose their fantasies and preferences on social media, others have their identities concealed since the concept of Fujoshi is a matter of dispute.

Fujoshi And The Yaoi

When speaking of Fujoshi you can’t rule out Yaoi, as Fujoshi is just the fanbase while Yaoi is the entertainment material itself. 

Yaoi is a Japanese term that describes the genre of homosexual relationships between men in the Japanese entertainment industry. Since Fujoshi love every nook and cranny of romance between men, they mostly indulge in Yaoi anime and manga. 

Source: instagram  

Yaoi was initially a subgenre of shojo manga and anime which is manga and anime specifically made for young women above the ages of 17. 

However, presently Yaoi is a separate genre that caters to the preferences of Fujoshi women. There are also subgenres within the Yaoi genre which we’ll discuss in a little while.

However, Yaoi can also be viewed by anyone despite their sexual orientation and Fujoshi aren’t the only fanbase of Yaoi anime and manga. There are also men, straight or gay who are spectators of Yaoi anime and manga as well.

In addition, every genre of Yaoi anime and manga doesn’t display sexual and explicit content. Sometimes it can just be a romantic relationship between two men without any depiction of sexual content. 

It’s also best to mention that not all Fujoshi women are looking for gay sexual content in anime and manga.

Most Fujoshi women are just fans of watching two men having a loving romantic relationship.

Yaoi And Its Subgenres

We mentioned above how Yaoi is the go-to entertainment material for Fujoshi women. Yaoi also has a few subgenres that depict the romantic relationship between gay men in distinct ways. Let’s find out what those subgenres are right below.

Source: Instagram 

Yaoi - Let’s begin by speaking about the main genre itself. Yaoi is also known as “Yama Nashi, Ochi Nashi, and Imi Nashi. In English this means “no plot” or “no climax” which ultimately means that the Yaoi content has no real plot. 

It’s just a genre that has a meaningless plot with the only intention of portraying an erotic relationship between two men. Yaoi is known to contain explicit scenes between men and it’s specifically made for Fujoshi girls.

Boy’s Love - Boy’s Love or BL is a subgenre that depicts homosexual romantic content. It was initially introduced in Japan in the early 90s and it was then referred to as “Shojo Manga”. BL is one of the loved subgenres of Fujoshi women and most BL anime and manga depict romantic relationships between gay men rather than sexual content.

Bara - Bara aka Men’s Love is a popular subgenre that has entertainment content that depicts both romantic and sexual relationships between gay men. Most Bara content is produced by gay men for gay men but they’re also viewed by Fujoshi women as well.

Shonen-ai - This is another popular subgenre loved by the Fujoshi. It usually produces content that features romantic relationships between young teenage boys. Shonen-ai anime and manga may contain explicit scenes but they’re more focused on showcasing the hardships and the innocence of love between two gay boys.

Slash Fiction - Another famous genre viewed by Fujoshi is Slash Fiction. It mostly depicts romantic and sexual relationships between gay men. In certain instances, the slash fiction genre in Japan might also produce content that depicts romantic relationships between two women. Then the genre would be called “Femmeslash”.

The Origin of Fujoshi

The term Fujoshi is a derogatory word as we know it and it’s believed that the word came to be during the late 90s especially when Yaoi content was prevalent at the time. 

Initially, the term Fujoshi was used as an insult to refer to girls who were fond of reading romantic novels that involved homosexual relationships between men.

Source: Instagram 

The first-ever usage of the word “Fujoshi” was reportedly dated back to 2005 in an online forum named 2channel which used to be a popular community for anime and manga enthusiasts. 

Since homosexuality was uncommon in the Japanese culture during the time, Fujoshi was used as a misogynistic term to refer to girls who are obsessed with watching two men being in love. 

Why Are Fujoshi Women Fond Of Gay Romance?

Anyone would be confused when learning about Fujoshi women and their obsession with romance between male couples. Because it’s unnatural to see straight females going crazy over homosexual content. 

However, there are several convincing reasons why Fujoshi are overzealous toward gay romance.

Source: Instagram 
  1. Morbid Curiosity Towards Taboo Content - Let’s admit it, curiosity gets the best of us when we’re restricted from watching or doing a certain activity. Most Fujoshi started off watching Yaoi wondering what’s it about. Once getting the thrill of it, some women are captivated by such content thus leading to becoming Fujoshi.
  1. Admiring The Physique of Men - It’s evident that women love gazing at a man with a lean and muscular physique and Yaoi content is never short of such sights. When watching Yaoi, Fujoshi women find it easy to understand men better and learn which actions can entice a man. They also find it interesting to see a man being head over heels in love with another man.
  1. Fujoshi Find Traditional Romance Boring - Traditional anime and manga usually portray a romantic relationship between a male and female protagonist. Although many people love this idea it’s cliche which makes people lean toward a different concept. Hence, Fujoshi have found their ideal concept which is Yaoi.
  1. Fujoshi Love The Concept Of A Submissive Man - It’s generally the females who’re depicted to be submissive when it comes to romance or explicit content. But when women see a man being submissive to another man, they either find it relatable or empowering thinking that even men can be submissive.
  1. A Gateway To Escape From Objectification - When Fujoshi watch two men being sexual, they find it as a way to not give in to their desires since they’re not seeing a woman being sexualized. They can still enjoy the content without feeling ashamed or objectified.

Controversies Surrounding The Fujoshi Community

We’re talking about a group of women who find romantic or sexual relationships between men captivating, and it’s definitely a controversial topic, especially in a conservative country like Japan.

fujoshi otaku
Source: Instagram 

It’s widely presumed in Japan that any kind of sexual content must be restricted to children and teenagers and homosexuality is a big no among Japanese elders. Hence, the Fujoshi are considered to be a disgrace to society by some people in Japan.

And it doesn’t only stop in Japan. When Yaoi materials were made available in foreign countries, many people found them too disturbing as they contain elements of abuse and rape. 

Even the LGBTQ community thinks Fujoshi to be objectifying and fetishizing gay men which have stirred up even more controversies. 

What makes a person a fujoshi?

Fujoshi is a Japanese slang word that means “spoiled girl”. It’s a popular derogatory term used to refer to females who’re fans of entertainment content that depict romantic and sexual relationships between gay males. When a woman obsesses over gay men being involved in intimacy, then she becomes a fujoshi.

How popular is BL in Japan?

BL is a popular term in the Otaku culture in Japan and it stands for Boy’s Love. It’s a sub-genre within the Yaoi genre that usually portrays intimate relationships between two males. It’s a popular entertainment category in Japan that’s loved by Fujoshi.

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