|See also:||otaku, yaoi|
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Fujoshi (腐女子, lit. "rotten girl") is a self-mockingly pejorative Japanese term for female fans of manga and novels that feature romantic relationships between men.
Fujoshi enjoy imagining what it would be like if male characters from manga and anime, and occasionally real-life male performers as well, loved each other. The label encompasses fans of the boys' love genre itself, as well as the related manga, anime, and video game properties that have appeared as the market for such works has developed. The term "fujoshi" is a homophonous pun on fujoshi (婦女子), a term for respectable women, created by replacing the character 婦 (pronounced fu), meaning married woman or lady, with the character 腐 (also pronounced fu), meaning fermented or rotten. The name was coined by mass media, but was reclaimed by yaoi fans. Fans self-deprecatingly refer to their way of thinking, which perceives homosexual relationships between male characters in stories that do not include homosexual themes, as being "rotten". "Fujoshi" carries a connotation of being a "fallen woman".
Older fujoshi use various terms to refer to themselves, including as kifujin (貴腐人, "noble rotten woman"), a pun on a homophonous word meaning "fine lady", and ochōfujin (汚超腐人), which sounds similar to a phrase meaning "Madame Butterfly", possibly taken from a character nicknamed Ochōfujin (お蝶夫人) in the 1972 manga series Ace o Nerae! by Sumika Yamamoto. These labels were coined in the same self-deprecating spirit as fujoshi.
According to a 2005 issue of Eureka, in recent times fujoshi can refer to female otaku in general, although it cautions that not all yaoi fans are otaku, as there are some more casual readers. As fujoshi is the best-known term, it is often used by the Japanese media and by people outside of the otaku subculture to refer to female otaku as a group, regardless of whether they are fans of BL. This usage may be considered offensive by female otaku who are not fans of BL.
Men who, like fujoshi, enjoy imagining relationships between characters in fictional works when that relationship is not part of the author's intent may be called fudanshi (腐男子, "rotten man") or fukei (腐兄, "rotten older brother"), both of which are puns of similar construction to fujoshi. Be warned that fudanshi and fukei are not necessarily fans of BL, although the terms are most often used in that sense, and if a male himself claims to be a fudanshi or fukei, it's almost certainly the case. The term yujioshi is sometimes used for the female fans of the yuri genre.