In the new millennium, the word fujoshi has traveled beyond fannish circles and has come into general use in Japanese popular media, reflecting the fact that fujoshi are no longer necessarily an underground phenomenon. (…)
I will first trace the origins of the word fujoshi and describe how it became established terminology in Japan. Around the start of the year 2000, the word fujoshi was used mainly in online anime and gaming fan communities. Chizuko Ueno (2007) says that the word was first used around the beginning of the 2000s on the online message board 2channel. At that time, fujoshi indicated a girl or woman who proactively read things in a yaoi fashion, discerning romantic relationships between men where such relationships were not originally intended. The kanji characters for fujoshi are pronounced in the same way as a similar character compound that means simply “woman,” but the first character fu (woman) is substituted for a homonym fu (rotten) so that the resulting term, “a woman with rotten thought processes,” becomes a self-deprecating label that such women use to refer to themselves.
Midori Suzuki, The possibilities of research on “fujoshi” in Japan
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A fertile imagination and tendency toward fantasy play are characteristic of fujoshi culture (Galbraith 2011). For example, when male otaku (hardcore fans of anime, manga, video games, and so on) from one thread on 2channel, Japan’s largest anonymous bulletin board, invaded a fujoshi thread and criticized the girls and women there as “gross” and “perverted,” the fujoshi responded by playfully projecting their yaoi fantasies onto the male otaku, who were interpreted as uke who wanted attention from (i.e., to be penetrated by) fujoshi performing as seme.