Ayashii World (あやしいわーるど; Strange World)

A series of bulletin boards spanning back to 1996-08-21. Also known as Strange World. Originally founded by Shiba as an underground site, it soon split into many different boards, many of which developed their own unique cultures. As of 2021, many Ayashii World bulletin boards still exist, though only a handful of them are active.

After Shiba quit on 1998-09-03, many residents of Ayashii World went on to use Amezou and eventually 2channel, taking many elements of Ayashii World's culture with them. Although Ayashii's heyday was arguably during the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ayashii World had a large impact on the development of Japanese Internet culture.

In the very early days, the main points of discussion were underground topics. However, the focus soon shifted towards news, pop culture, personal lives, and general topics.


Founder and administrator of the Ayashii World II (あやしいわーるどII; Strange World II) lineage of bulletin boards. A controversial figure amongst residents of other Ayashii World bulletin boards due to his heavy-handed moderation style. His actions have caused many offshoots of II to form.

Bulletin board (掲示板; keijiban)

A service or website that allows users to post messages for others to read and respond to. Also known as BBS (bulletin board system), although in the West this term is usually used to refer to dial-up BBSes. In Japan, the terms keijiban (掲示板; lit. bulletin board) and BBS are interchangeable, and are frequently used to describe web-based bulletin boards.

Guess (ゲスッ)

Internet trolling group responsible for attacking and destroying hundreds of bulletin boards in the late 1990s. Formed out of Ayashii World's 2000 board, and moved to their own bulletin board in 1997-03.

Kaomoji (顔文字)

Japanese-style emoticons.

Shiba (しば)

Founder and original administrator of Ayashii World. He founded Ayashii World as an Internet bulletin board dedicated to underground topics on 1996-08-21, and quit on 1998-09-03.

Underground site (アングラサイト; angura saito; UG)

A website that covers illicit or illegal technology-related activities such as hacking/cracking and warez. Prior to new laws being made and some high-profile arrests, websites and bulletin boards that covered these kinds of topics were commonplace on the Japanese web during the 1990s.