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Futaba Channel (Japanese: ふたば☆ちゃんねる, lit. Two Leaf Channel; site domain: 2chan.net), usually called Futaba (ふたば or 双葉) simply in Japan and 2chan in the outside of Japan, is the Japanese anonymous imageboard site still representing Japanese good old online culture.
On August 30th, 2001 when 2channel was in danger of shutting down, several online forums including Futaba Channel were launched as a refuge for 2channel users. Futaba Channel was launched at the site www.2chan.net by an anonymous volunteer whose name is unknown up to the present date. He's usually called a "Village Head" (村長, Sonchou) among Futaba users.
Around 2003, when Futaba users began making their original creations in the /b/ board, Futaba had suffered the danger of server crash brought by rude newbies who accessed Futaba only to steal deliverable of the community members. They were led by Net Runner, a magazine that was famous for recommending illegal softwares and services (eg. Warez, Emulator, Crack, Pirating) to readers and reprinting creative contents generated by internet users without any permission or solicitude to them and their community.
Futaba users deployed the large protest campaign against them, and got both strong ties within the community and wariness against committing from the outside through the campaign.
After several halcyon days, in 2011, the large protest campaign broke out again against Chaos Lounge, a young Japanese modern artists group that plagiarized Moetron to their commercial work. This affair spreaded to criticism against pixiv giving preferential treatment to them and condoning their plagiarism.
Futaba differed from 2channel by allowing images to accompany the text. This had led Futaba to be functioned as the meme base of many parody illustrations and photo collages in the first half of 2000s. However, this advantage has been being lost by 2channel browsers mounting inline thumbnail feature and the rise of pixiv since the late 2000s.
Futaba doesn't archive its old threads. So, only small amount of active Futaba users can enjoy creations of Futaba memes.
Average internet users can't find them without the help by external websites or media. But because of the history above, almost all of memes in Futaba don't spread to the outside, and they are consumed as inside fads only among active Futaba users except in some cases.
Warning for robberies
Nowadays, despite of the process of the birth, Futaba doesn't have any relationship with 2channel because it have been bringing up conservative and reclusive culture through the history. They extremely hate people who bring out their creations and habits to the external of Futaba, and their philosophy sometimes conflicts to some aggressive 2channel user's habit. As the evidence of this, Futaba users have frequently stopped create contents and abandoned their memes because they lost their motivation by 2channel users and threads reprinting their creations with ignoring the unwritten rules.
Besides, there are many archive pages or wiki sites for futaba creations made by Futaba users themselves. But all of them prohibits users to use download tools or tell the URLs to external websites. They've continued making an effort to stay themselves in the underground.
/b/ (Nijiura) boards
Futaba's /b/ (二次元裏, Nijigen Ura; abbr. 虹裏, Nijiura; lit. ALT-2D) boards are the most aggressive and creative boards representing Futaba's philosophy. Since the first Nijiura board made in March 2002 was originally given to trolls in an illustration board, they've brewed its "no rule" policy of /b/ boards, and many of Futaba memes was born in these boards partly due to the help of its chaotic atmosphere grown by its policy.
Nijiura users are usually called Toshiaki (としあき), a previous default username coming from the name of a troll in the early days for Nijiura, or written as " " (「 」) which means an anonymous with no name.
Because of the user philosophy, Futaba memes hardly spread to the outside of there and have never become social phenomenon.
Junichi Yamakawa's gay porn comic Kuso Miso Technique, well known as its catchphrase Yaranaika?, was originally came to light in Nijiura boards in late 2003, though the epicness of this comic practically began spreading to whole over the web after 2channel users imported this from Futaba.
Nowadays, Takakazu Abe, the protagonist of this comic, can be seen as the icon of homosexual parodies not limted on the Japanese web.
It's also one of the handful succeeded online phenomenon, which has been released as commercial products.
Effects on 4chan
4chan used the same script of Futaba. The concept of an entirely Anonymous and mostly self-governing web community was born from Japan's 2channel, carried over to Futaba, and subsequently carried to the US via 4chan.
For the complete listing of memes that Fubata is contributed, check out KYM Collection – Futaba.
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