The concept of women envisioning and writing male homoerotic stories has been around for quite some time. Around the 70s, it seemed to have taken a hold both in America where it became known as “slash” and seemingly independently in Japan where it acquired the name “yaoi” and its writers took up the nickname “fujoshi” or “rotten girls.”

Both arts take male characters which are living, completely fictional, or derived from other popular fictional works, and place them in romantic or erotic situations. All throughout the genre’s evolution, it has found trouble with the general public around the world, and this time it appears a group of fujoshi have run afoul of the law in China, where such works are called “dan mei”, and are looking at possible prison time for violating the country’s decency laws.

As we have previously mentioned, China takes a hardline stance against what it deems pornography and inspects media in the country thoroughly. According to The Daily Dot, a website called was shut down and its owner and around 20 writers taken into custody despite the site being hosted in the USA.

A video report by Anhui TV followed police as they made arrests and openly admonished the suspects for their often misunderstood hobby but admitted that all of the women in their 20s were polite, shy, and cooperated fully. Meanwhile, other sites made sure to remove all content of a similar nature that might land them in a similar predicament.

China’s intolerance of sex and violence in entertainment is well-known, with major Hollywood studios making cuts to their films so that they could enter the vast and lucrative market. Meanwhile, the nation’s authorities have been hard at work shutting down thousands of websites last year with “illicit content” a category that this dan mei seems to have fallen into.

During an interview, one of the suspects confessed that she had started off writing regular fiction online only to get drawn into the world of dan mei, much like how a heroin addict supposedly starts out by smoking pot.

As someone who writes frequently on the internet, I can guarantee that’s not true. I’ve only written one novel featuring a torrid love affair between Neo and Morpheus this year (with those things in the back of their neck how could you not?) and I could quit any time I wanted to.

Source: Kinisoku, Buzzap (Japanese), The Daily Dot (English)
Images: Youku (Chinese)