Summary of Interviews in Summer 2000



Yoshihiro Yonezawa

Manga critic

Representative of Tokyo Comic Market

Thursday, August 17


Mr. Yoshihiro Yonezawa, a president of Comic Market and a critic of Manga

Born in 1953 in Kumamoto prefecture. He graduated from the department of engineering at Meiji University, Tokyo.

(Main publications)

In 1991, The World of Shojo (Girls’) Manga I & II (Heibonsua, Tokyo)

In 1996, The World of Syonen (Boys’) Manga I& II (Heibonsya, Tokyo)

In 1997, Tezuka Osamu Manga Taizen (Summary of All Tezuka’s Manga)



1. Mr. Yonezawa was originally interested in Pop-culture/media including manga, TV, movie, and so on since he was a teenager due to the influence of his hometown, which was a center of pop-culture in the area. Coincidently, there are at least three famous pop-culture related critics who went to the same high school where he graduated.


About comic market

2. In 1975, when he was twenty two years old and a college student of Meiji University, he lanched the comic market to give young people an opportunity to introduce their created manga by giving them a common space. Of course, there were many manga circles; however, there was no place to exchange amateur ideas beyond each circle before the comic market.

3. The comic market started with about 700-800 participants and about 30 circles in 1975. In Summer 2000, the circles expanded to more than 22,000 circles and the participants were more than 400,000 during 3 days at Tokyo Big site.

4. He already knew that the activity of the comic market would become popular, as we can see now. The function of the comic market reflects the manga circles’ expectations, which were 1) a place to sell original creative manga (Dojinshi), 2)  a social communicative place of exchanging information.

5. Generally, the comic market is divided into three days: 1) the first day is based on parodies of famous manga and/or animation, 2) the second day is based on computer game, and 3) the third day is based on the original story by amateur, semi-amateur, professional mangaka, and college/university manga circles.

6. Most dojinshi groups must lose money except for a few famous dojinshi groups of famous professional mangaka.


About other local comic markets

7. Around 1984, mainly printing companies (e.g. Comic city and Comic live) started to provide comic markets; however, the genre was very limited depending on each comic market, unlike the Comic market, which cover all genres.

8. There are about 800 groups of comic markets  and about 2000 markets are provided annually throughout Japan. For example, the comic market of “Comic Live" (a printing company) holds a market three times annually and a local comic market group holds the market twice a year.

9. In China and Taiwan, there are about 3000 comic market fans.

10. In the USA, there is an animation comic market. Generally, about 70-80 percent of comic market fan is male. However, about 50 percent was female in a female comic market (manga depicted by female mangaka), which was held in San Francisco at the beginning of August, 2000. The popularity has begun to go beyond gender differences.


The changes of comic market

11. When the comic market was launched, there were mostly original manga and the fan clubs.

12. During the1970s, there was an animation boom.

13. At the end of the1970s, there was a boom of boys’ manga.

14. At the beginning of the1980s, parodies of girls’ character in animations became popular (Loli-con = Lolita complex).

15. In 1984/85, Ichigo sedai (the strawberry generation) who were born around the1970s started to create a genre of YAOI, which is a homosexual story based on teenage boys. This is an expression of girls’ desire for characters in manga to have pure love between a boy and a boy.

*YAOI means Yamanashi (there is no highlight scene), Ochinashi (there is no point in the story), and Iminashi (there is no logical meanings).

16. The characteristics of this YAOI is that the homosexual stories are depicted based on characters of famous manga, but there are no original characters used in the story. Yaoi stories are less than 5%.

17. YAOI story includes hardcore, comedy, and romantic love story (called JUNE).

18. In the1990s, the parody of game characters became popular.

19. Although the characteristic of dojinshi in the comic market is said to be a parody of manga, original stories is also increasing (about 20 percent of dojinshi are original stories).


The problem of the comic market and the direction for the future

20. Each copyright problem should be taken care of by each dojinshi group. In reality, each group does not realize that their parody based on manga characters infringes on copyrights.

21. The issue of copyright is getting bigger; however, Mr. Yonezawa is going to take his stance for the freedom of the dojinshi. Although many groups use the characters from manga to create their parodies, the content of dojinshi is still original. The characters are just borrowed to express their original stories.  Mr. Yonezawa  is going to write about this stance on the problem of copyright in his critical writings.

22. Since the comic market started and from now on, the purpose of the comic market will never change, which is to give people an opportunity to express their own originality through manga and other media by reflecting pop-culture and  a place to exchange their ideas. No matter how the content of dojinshi itself changes, the attitude of the comic market will never changes.