What does “fujoshi” mean?腐女子?婦女子?



If you like Japanese manga and anime, you may have heard the word “fujoshi(腐女子)” at least once.

This word has been around since the 1990s, but around 2005 it became known to young people and some adults.

One opportunity for the word “Fujoshi” to spread was that several Japanese female entertainers mentioned in some TV show that they were “fujoshi”.

If you say “fujoshi” in Japanese, most Japanese adults will think of it as a word for women in general(ふじょし:婦女子).

Let’s take a closer look at “fujoshi”.

What does ‘Fujoshi’ mean?

The word “fujoshi” is derived from “fujoshi(婦女子)” which represents women in general.
“Fu(腐)” in “fujoshi(腐女子)” means “rotten” and “joshi(女子)” means a girl.

“Fujoshi” refers to women in their teens and 20s who like manga, anime, and novels based on BL (Boy’s Love).

Originally there was a manga genre called “yaoi(やおい)” that expressed sexual love between men. Such a work itself, or a person who liked reading the work was called “yaoi”.
Since then, such works have gradually changed, and many of them have been called “BL (boys love)”.
BL fans are called “fujoshi” with a little despised meaning.

Fujoshis are also aware that their hobbies are not universally accepted, and some people describe themselves as “fujoshi” in the sense of a “loser”.

By the way, women who like BL over 30 years old are called “kifujin(貴腐人)”. The meaning of the original word for “kifujin(貴婦人)” is “lady”, and the “fu” uses the kanji “腐(rotten)” like “fujoshi”.

However, in the 1990s, the BL (boys love) market developed rapidly, and now this genre is an important sector for the manga industry.

In addition, it is said that there are a lot of people who are “fujoshi” but pretending not to do so in daily life.
Such people are called “kakure (hidden) fujoshi(隠れ腐女子)”.

Difference between “Otaku(オタク)” and “Fujoshi”

“Fujosi” may be confused with “otaku”, but they are different.

“Otaku” refers to people who are extremely inclined to the things they like or are interested in. For example, it means a person who investigates and collects things that really exist, such as cartoons, anime, idols, kosupure(コスプレ: wearing costumes of their favorite characters), computers, toys, movies, trains and so on.

It can be said that the act of reading BL comics is “otaku”. However, works read by “fujoshi” always include BL. They also have the feature that the BL world expands in their imagination even when they read the ordinary manga. (For example, make ordinary manga characters couples in imagination)

And many people who are “otaku” become professionals in their favorite field.
Some people of “otaku” like to call themselves “otaku”. Recently, the word “otaku” has the meaning of being a professional in that field.

On the other hand, the attitude of “fujoshi” is just a hobby or sexual habit, so “otaku” people don’t like to be called “fujoshi”.
They don’t want the two things in the same category.

Recent “Fujosi”

“Fujoshi” is the dominant customer of BL (Boys Love) whose share in the Manga industry has become so large that it cannot be ignored.

Recently, many movies of which the main characters are “fujoshi” have been released.
“Fujoshi” is becoming more socially recognized.

More Japanese celebrities have publicly said they are reading BL works. With the help of that, “fujoshi” has been losing negative impressions in recent years, and is rather being treated positively.

With the changes in the world, things that couldn’t be said publicly until a few years ago now seem to be openly spoken.