Japan’s largest doujinshi market attracting 550,000 visitors
Launching in 1975, the 40-year-old Comic Market is the nation’s biggest doujinshi market which is also known by its short name, Comiket. Admission is free although its event pamphlet, the Comiket Catalog, requires a fee and is sold at the nation’s anime shops and bookstores from one month before the opening of Comiket. Doujinshi refers to magazines and manga that have been self-published toward fellow fans and clubs of a certain hobby, and the spotlight is also aimed at many other derived works from manga, anime, novels and light novels among other sources. The Comic Market is held twice a year during summer and winter in all of the halls at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight), and during the 3 days for each market, there are as many as 550,000 visitors.
Join in the cosplay fun
Comiket is also Japan’s largest cosplay venue with over 20,000 cosplayers suited up in costumes based on popular characters from the worlds of manga, anime and games. There are changerooms onsite so that people can change into character there since arriving in costume at the venue is prohibited. Very long lines can result for the especially popular doujinshi so that some clubs can sell as many as several thousand issues during one market. There are also corporate booths with companies such as game manufacturers and anime production studios representing close to 200 of the booths. Furthermore, there are handshake events, talk shows and autograph sessions. Comiket is not just limited to professional and amateur artists but also encourages the birth and circulation of various publications by people freely expressing themselves, so that the market takes on a role of expanding communications and networks among participants. As a source of sub-cultures such as manga, anime and games, it has attracted the attention of the world so that many people from beyond Japan are additionally taking part.