Gakuman

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See also: doujinshi circle, doujinshi
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A gakuman (学漫) in Japanese-language doujin fandom is a type of doujinshi circle that is made up of people who are members of the same school or university club. The word is a combination of the Japanese character for study (学, gaku) and the first character of manga (漫).

Japanese schools and universities generally have a very wide range of different clubs, and there are often clubs that make manga or popular culture in general the focus of their activities.[1] The popular manga Genshiken is about such a popular culture study club. The activities of manga/popular culture study clubs vary, and not all of them publish doujinshi. Those that do often share the club's works just among the members of the club, or sell them only at school/university festivals.

Some gakuman participate in doujinshi conventions. Gakuman have been a consistent and important presence at such events for most of Japan's history of doujinshi conventions, sometimes taking the initiative to organize local conventions after the example of Comiket. For instance, an anonymous female fan recollected that "Regional university manga societies took the initiative — places like Iwate University, Matsuyama University, and Nagoya University began organizing regional markets." [2]

Because gakuman take part in conventions under the official name of their institutions, they generally sell sousaku (original) doujinshi rather than fannish doujinshi to keep the name of the school/university from being associated with the legal gray area that doujinshi in Japan occupy.[3] However, the doujinka who form a gakuman can and often do create fanworks in the context of the club's activities. When they sell these fanworks rather than exchanging them for free among club members and other friends, it's often under the name of another circle they participate in.

"Gakuman" is also a separate genre at Comiket.

References

  1. ^ Kaneda, Otohiko. 2009. Otakugo Jiten. Bijutsu Shuppan-sha. P82.
  2. ^ Ito, Mizuko, Daisuke Okabe, and Izumi Tsuji, eds. 2012. Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World. Yale University Press. Location 2594-2608, 2747-55 (Kindle edition).
  3. ^ Personal conversation with members of Doshisha University's manga research club.