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Synonyms: mai waifu
See also: selfship, fictosexuality, What community is right for you?, Snapewives, Oshi
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Waifu or mai waifu is a term used by some fans of Japanese media to refer to a fictional character (usually an anime girl) that they feel strong attraction to. The term is the literal reading of the Japanese ワイフ which is itself a transliteration of English "wife". This word became popular in Japan in the 1980s as a replacement for the native word 家内 (kanai) which literally means "inside the house" and was becoming offensive to feminist-minded Japanese women. "Waifu" entered the English fan lexicon sometime in the 2000s.[1] The origin is generally said to be from the manga Azumanga Daioh: when some students ask Mr. Kimura who the woman who dropped off his lunch is, he answers "マイ ワイフ" (mai waifu/my wife).[2]

The term husbando is used as the equivalent for male characters, but sometimes "waifu" is used regardless of gender.[1] Terms like kidfu, daughteru and sonfu are used for "adopted children" as well. There is some discourse over whether the use of these terms is racist and/or culturally appropriative.[3][4]

Waifuism on Reddit

There are a few subreddits dedicaed to waifuism on reddit, such as r/Waifuism. R/Waifuism has extensive rules such as no polyamory, no "hugblanketing" (casual waifuism) and no OC waifus. The community was created June 23, 2014 and has 16.8k members.[1]

External links

Further Reading


  1. ^ a b What Does Waifu Mean?, Chris Kincaid, Japan Powered, December 7 2014, updated April 21 2017. Accessed September 28 2018.
  2. ^ Post by 5h1njuu, Nov 20 2015
  3. ^ Tumblr thread by Bri, January 3 2018
  4. ^ Tumblr post on Reclaiming Asia, November 20 2015