Comiket: A Small Fan Gathering that Grew into a Huge EventCulture Manga Anime
Comic Market, known better as Comiket, attracts manga and anime fans and cosplayers from all across the world.
The history of this event can be traced back nearly half a century to 1975 when the first Comiket was held in a conference room at the Japan Fire Department in Toranomon, Tokyo. It was attended by over 700 people belonging to dōjin circles, groups who share the same interests and create derivate fan work that they self-publish. Roughly 90% of the participants at that first event were junior high and high school girls who were fans of shōjo manga, works aimed specifically at young women.
In summer 1981, the number of attendees exceeded 10,000 for the first time. The scale of the event has continued to grow since then, with the venue shifting from conference rooms to larger halls and on to international event spaces. It has been held at Tokyo Big Sight, the current venue, since the fiftieth event in 1996.
In winter 2019, a record 750,000 people attended over a four-day period. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that Comiket could not be held in 2020 and, while it began again from winter 2021, there were strict restrictions on the number of participants. Once the pandemic was under control, Comiket could be held again in summer 2023 without any restrictions. The event was shorter though and the number of participants only one-third of those for 2019.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)