Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Arts)


School of Humanities and Social Inquiry


Japan’s gendered media extend to young audiences where shōjo media cater to girls while shōnen media entertain boys. This division of youth media stems from Japan’s modernisation in the late twentieth century where youth magazines were established to educate their target audiences with various literacies and practices that shaped their gendered culture. Weekly Shōnen jump emerges from this gendered media landscape as it inspires young men with heroic adventures that highlight virtues of victory, camaraderie, and perseverance. This thesis, however, highlights an audience that challenges these gendered boundaries in youth media as young women affectively transform various elements from Weekly Shōnen jump in order to create media spaces where they can exercise creative freedom. These young women are currently identified as fujoshi — rotten girls — who are notorious for transforming homosocial narratives into homoerotic fantasies through their self-published fan books called dōjinshi. In an effort to understand fujoshi’s affective engagement with Weekly Shōnen jump, this thesis looks at the history of these young women’s literacies and practices and examines the emergence and impact of fujoshi Discourse in Japan’s youth media culture.

Using approaches from New Literacy Studies, this thesis analyses the development of literacies and practices embedded in various media related to fujoshi Discourse — from shōjo and shōnen manga, to its media mix, and its related dōjinshi — and how these transformed shōnen media. This thesis looks explicitly at young women’s engagement with youth media since the 1900s in hopes of highlighting their intertextual consumption of texts, the different ways in which they establish affective ties with various narrative elements, and how they educate other fans to actively engage with media. Through the historical analysis of women’s affective fujoshi Discourse, this thesis aims to highlight the transformative potential of women’s dōjinshi as it impacts youth media industry, especially concerning representations of sexuality and masculinity as well as the increased production and consumption of affective media. This thesis also showcases dōjinshi culture as an informal educational space for nuanced literacies and practices. In examining women’s transformative engagement with shōnen media such as Weekly Shōnen jump, this thesis highlights how fujoshi Discourse helped bridge the severed worlds of shōjo and shōnen media.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.