The Essential Comiket Dictionary - Wisdom from a 10-Year Veteran!


With Comiket coming up, we want to be sure to send you off with the right terms so that you won’t get lost in the crowd!

#Basic Terminology
・Circles (サークル)
Circles are people who share the same interests. Sometimes a circle can be just one person. This is the basic unit of Comiket participants. Typically each circle gets a booth, although, sometimes multiple artists might share the same booth. You can be a ‘circle’ by yourself, too.

・Goudoushi (合同誌)
A doujinshi by multiple authors (sometimes within the same circles) based on the same theme, genre, or concept.

・Wall (壁)
Popular circles bring in so many volumes of doujinshi that they have to line them up against the wall. As a result, the most popular circles within a genre are called the “Kabe” (wall).

・Shutter (シャッター)
The place where you’ll find circles that are even more chaotic than the “Wall Circles”. When purchasing from these circles, you will often have to line up outside.

・Island (島)
Circles are divided by genres, and each genre forms an island. The extremes of each island are known as the “Birthday Seats” (お誕生日席), while the middle is known as the “Center of the Island” (島中).

・Nise-kabe (ニセ壁)
While there are no real walls, the booths nearest to the boundaries of islands are known as the “Nise-kabe” (lit. fake walls). Usually, the most chaotic booths are assigned to the “Nise-kabe” positions.

・Galleria (ガレリア)
The long corridor at Tokyo Big Sight where Comiket is held each year. It leads to the East Hall.

・Truck Yard (トラックヤード)
This is the plaza outside of the indoor venue. This is where you would line up if you were buying from a Shutter Circle. You are also allowed to cosplay and photograph here.

・Cosplay Area (コスプレエリア)
This was the original Cosplay Plaza. You are allowed to cosplay and photograph cosplay here. There are a few areas available, such as the rooftop, garden, and entrance.
Cosplay Area Map (Japanese):

#Practical Terminology

・End of Line Ticket (最後尾札)
This is to make the end of the queues to each circle easily identifiable. The last person in line will hold onto this, and then pass it on when another person joins the queue behind them.

・Sketchbook (スケブ)
You may bring a sketchbook to ask for illustrations or autographs. You can ask for one by saying, “Sukebu onegaishimasu” (スケブお願いします).

###Sketchbook Manners

  1. Write down your real name, mailing address, and contact number inside the sketchbook.
  2. Carefully browse through the artist’s goods and buy what you like.
  3. If your artist is popular, make sure he or she is not too busy (if he or she is busy, please do not disturb them).
  4. Ask if the artist is around by saying, “XX-san irasshai masuka?” (●●さん(作家さん)いらっしゃいますか?) or “Sukebu uketsukete imasuka?” (スケブ受け付けていますか?). Do not press on if the artist is not present, or if they are not accepting sketchbook requests.
  5. Make sure to hand over your sketchbook on a blank page.
  6. If you are requesting a character, make sure it is something within the artist’s genre.
  7. Tell the artist when you will be back to collect your sketchbook by saying, “(hour)-ji goro ni torini kimasu” (◯◯時ごろに取りに来ます). Try to give them at least 1 or 2 hours.
  8. Return at the time you have mentioned above and ask for the sketchbook by saying, “Sukebu onegaishita (your name) desu. Sukebu dekite imasuka?” (スケブお願いした◯◯です。スケブできていますか?)
  9. Make sure to thank the artist properly!!
  10. Most large circles do not accept sketchbook requests, so please be polite if they turn you down.

・Cameko (カメコ)
Cameramen who take pictures of cosplayers. This can be a derogatory term and is usually used by the cameraman himself. You should refer to them as “cameraman” or “photographer” instead.

・Uriko (売り子)
Someone who tends to a booth. Most of the time he or she is the artist of the circle. However, this is not always the case so please keep this in mind.

・Manga Report (まんレポ)
The “Manga Report” segment in the Comiket Catalogue. It is a single frame manga drawn by each of the artist circles present at the previous Comiket. This can come in handy, so we recommend checking it out beforehand.
Manga Report Log (Japanese):

#Advanced Terminology
・Meta-hon (メタ本)
Doujinshi by animators.

・Gokiburi Hoi Hoi (ゴキブリホイホイ)
“Gokiburi” means cockroach in Japanese. The phrase refers to the way to the East Hall. Since the ceiling is low and narrow, it resembles “Gokiburi Hoi Hoi”, a well-known brand of cockroach-catching devices in Japan.

・Limit (限数)
This refers to the maximum number of a certain item that you can purchase. Because the artists want as many people as possible to enjoy their works, there is usually a limit.

・Higashi Hifumi Nishi Shigoro (東ひふみ西しごろ)
Halls 1~3 on the east side are known as “Hifumi” (1, 2, 3), while halls 4~6 are called “Shigoro” (4, 5, 6). On the west side, only halls 1 and 2 are used for Doujin, so they are usually just called “Nishi” (West). West Halls 3 and 4 are for industry booths, so they are often just called “Kigyou Booths” (企業ブース) a.k.a. Industry Booths.

#How to get to the venue

  • Yurikamome
  • Rinkai Line ※Recommended!
  • Bus
  • Water Bus ※Cold in the winter

※Cars are not allowed to stop on the roads nearby, so do not come by taxi!

#Winter Comiket vs Summer Comiket

  • Come in clothes that are easy to take off and put on. The venue itself is warm, so the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors is big.
  • Minimize your hand-carried items, as you’ll be carrying heavy jackets and clothes as well. Disposable items are good.
  • Things to bring:
    • Hand warmers or heat patches
    • Fur pads, for additional warmth in your shoes
    • Down jacket
    • Heattech (from Uniqlo)
    • Candy
    • Water
    • Cellphone charger  

#On Cosplay

・Please do not wear your cosplay to and from the venue
➔ This is a public space, and in order to protect the image of Comiket and allow it to continue, participants are discouraged from cosplaying outside the designated area.

・Please do not change in the restrooms
There are a lot of people besides cosplayers. Do not hog the toilets. Instead, use the designated areas to change.

・Please do not take pictures outside the Cosplay Area
Photography outside the Cosplay Area is banned to protect participants.
Here is a map of the venue:

・Please take care of yourself in the cold weather
Do not over-expose yourself. It is cold outside, so be careful of that as well.
Cosplay Guide (Japanese):
Photographer Guide (Japanese):

・Beware of your props and cloaks
For costumes involving props and cloaks, keep your props with you until you are in the Cosplay Area. Do not put on cloaks while walking around for safety measures, as it will be very crowded.

That’s all we have for your for now. Good luck at Comiket!