Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Soshokukei Danshi

One article in NY times tells about the Japanese men and caught my eye:

Two phrases have been coined to describe them: soshokukei danshi or “herbivorous males,” and Ojo-man – or “girly men.”

Definitions vary, but the new herbivores could be described as metrosexuals without the testosterone. Although most of them are not homosexual they have in common a disdain for the traditional accoutrements of Japanese manhood, and a taste for things formerly regarded as exclusively female. Girly men have no interest in fast cars, career success, designer labels and trophy women. Instead, they hold down humble jobs, cultivate women as friends rather than conquests and spend their free time shopping at small boutiques and pursuing in Japan what is regarded as a profoundly feminine pastime: eating cakes.

Seeking to tap into this market, Japanese manufacturers have launched underwear, cosmetics and clothing designed to appeal to herbivorous males – including bras for men and lacy male tops.

...Masahiro Yamada, a professor of sociology at Chuo University, Tokyo, believes that the new demographic is the result of economic decline: most young men in Japan simply cannot afford fast cars and designer labels, he says. Yamada also worries about the effects of soshokukei danshi on Japan’s shrinking population, noting that almost half of Japanese men aged 20–34 are unmarried and that nearly 30 percent of these have never had a girlfriend:

“I worry that herbivorous boys are the future of Japan. … As young Japanese men become more timid and more averse to taking risks, it will affect the energy and vitality of the society.”

According to a July 2009 article in The Japan Times, go-getting “nikushokukei joshi” – or “carnivorous women” – have emerged as a counterweight to soshokukei danshi.


FrostFire said...

Hello, my dear friend! Long time no see. Recently I am applying for a chemistry Ph.D of my school. Interestingly, I once thought of shifting my direction from chemistry to economics, yet now I have to return to the old way, regarding economics as an interest. Before making this decision, I experienced a period of "recession", a period during which I had no enthusiasim to anything: sleeping everyday, reading boring stories on the internet, killing time without working. Yet what I was frightened most was loneliness. You may have known that I had to suspend my school work due to health reasons, and now the biggest problem is I know nobody around me - my classmates have all graduated, and I am know living with 3 roommates, 2 from College of Maths and 1 from College of Physics, none of whom are in the same college with me. You can imagine how upset I was during these days. Fortunately, time is the best medicine for any pain and sorrow. I was able to enjoy my 23rd birthday on Nov.4 last Wednesday with joy. I was lucky for my parents called on me in Beijing during their holidays, so I could spend my birthday with my parents. My father bought me an electronic piano, which is my new friend now. I can play the instrument everyday when I am weary. I once joked with my friend that I found my girlfriend now - my piano! Tomorrow is Nov.11, a day for all the singlers, including me. But Tomorrow will not be a lonely singlers' day for me, Haha. By the way, what kind of classical composers do you like? 3 years ago I liked Chopin; 2 years ago, Beethoven; last year, Mozart and Schubert; now, Bach. I can not imagine I love this composer so much now because when I learned to play the piano in my childhood, Bach was the one I hated most!

Well, too long this time. Many wishes to you. Keep healthy! Beijing received a heavy snow yesterday, which was the heaviest I have even seen in my lifetime, and the temperature plummeted. Now it is bitterly cold outside. What is the weather like in the city you live now?

Taro said...

Dear FrostFire,

Thank you very much for your kind comment and report. Sorry for my late reply but I am really happy to hear from you and keep an eye on my blog.

I've wondered how you are going in Beijing. Since I left the school, I teach economics at college and try to research when I have some time. Now I have little time to read books and articles and to write paper.

After the Olympic game last year, how is Beijing city going also? I really wonder how many graduates can't find the job, and, some Chinese say, there's no job and it is the same situation as in Japan. I am greatly concerned about the recent Chinese economic situation and, needless to say, I hope China will be the largest economy in the world.

By the way, let me say about you and you are right to choose chemistry PhD. I do not mean by saying that you are better at chemistry than economics, rather I mean that you've known the principle of comparative advantage:

I think you're much better at economics and chemistry than me, but you know more about chemistry than economics, and then the opportunity cost of studying chemistry is lower than studying economics. So you know it and you choose chemistry. It's really a good, reasonable choice you made.

Recently, I've not listened to classics, but Bach and Beethoven are my favorite composers too. I've recently liked listening to jazz alone, and it's really a great time to me. Yes, classics is kind to me also.

At any rate, we are ontrolled by our mind and sometimes feel so depressed. Please take good care of your health and thank you again for your consideration.

Aini said...

long time no see :)
i havent finished reading the blog, will give comment later
i stop by to stay hallo and that ..
i missed you!

Taro said...


Thank you and I am very happy to see you again. I miss you too. I hope you'll have comment to me later, and I shall reply to you!