Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More On The Herbivore's Dilemma

Source: Slate

Earlier I had posted about Japanese Herbivore Men.

Ryoma Igarashi likes going for long drives through the mountains, taking photographs of Buddhist temples and exploring old neighborhoods. He's just taken up gardening, growing radishes in a planter in his apartment. Until recently, Igarashi, a 27-year-old Japanese television presenter, would have been considered effeminate, even gay. Japanese men have long been expected to live like characters on Mad Men, chasing secretaries, drinking with the boys, and splurging on watches, golf, and new cars.

Today, Igarashi has a new identity (and plenty of company among young Japanese men) as one of the soushoku danshi—literally translated, "grass-eating boys." Named for their lack of interest in sex and their preference for quieter, less competitive lives, Japan's "herbivores" are provoking a national debate about how the country's economic stagnation since the early 1990s has altered men's behavior.

In this age of bromance and metrosexuals, why all the fuss? The short answer is that grass-eating men are alarming because they are the nexus between two of the biggest challenges facing Japanese society: the declining birth rate and anemic consumption. Herbivores represent an unspoken rebellion against many of the masculine, materialist values associated with Japan's 1980s bubble economy. Media Shakers, a consulting company that is a subsidiary of Dentsu, the country's largest advertising agency, estimates that 60 percent of men in their early 20s and at least 42 percent of men aged 23 to 34 consider themselves grass-eating men. Partner Agent, a Japanese dating agency, found in a survey that 61 percent of unmarried men in their 30s identified themselves as herbivores. Of the 1,000 single men in their 20s and 30s polled by Lifenet, a Japanese life-insurance company, 75 percent described themselves as grass-eating men.


Seriously this is a big problem.. what are Japanese interested in if they're not interested in making money or sex? Do they just want anime pillows to suck on?

"I spent the night at one guy's house, and nothing happened—we just went to sleep!" moaned one incredulous woman on a TV program devoted to herbivores. "It's like something's missing with them," said Yoko Yatsu, a 34-year-old housewife, in an interview. "If they were more normal, they'd be more interested in women. They'd at least want to talk to women."

She's pretty lucky he let her in the house to visit. Girls usually don't get past the front door.

How did the 'samurai' become a timid, shy uncomfortable guy? They are simply in their own world and can't even have a conversation with a girl. Being shy and introverted is one thing but everyone should have some wit and be able to chat with anyone right?

I can see why this is unacceptable. Japan has certain standards to maintain, and part of that involves savagely boning secretaries, drinking imported scotch, and buying ugly Rolexes!

So if you like Japanese women. Time for manly foreign guys to step up to the "horny and frustrated Japanese women" challenge! :D

What's the worst that can happen? These guys going to get mad and beat you up?


Amory Blaine said...

hmmm....i wrote another long post (dunno why but lately i've been running-on...) so cut it to spell check and now i'm having second thoughts about reposting. were your closing thoughts like a trick question? think i better go over your other posts before i walk into the lions den! then again, if you're a carnivore i am definitely not a grass-eater! i really do like your sense of humor, at any rate... and btw was it lost on you that the chick compaining about not being ravaged by that dude was married?! or did i just read it too quickly? gotta get some sleep...later jjw

Degenerasian said...

You're right I didn't notice that she was a 34-year old housewife. She's complaining she couldn't get a young buck.

Not a trick question, guys really should go to Japan and pick up women if the Japanese guys don't want them :)

Anonymous said...

Well, there is a bumper crop of Chinese males just next door.

A chance for revenge for Nanking.

Degenerasian said...

Except the Japanese woman has about 100 times the amount of money that the poor Chinese hick has.

Anonymous said...

.... so Asian women are really in it for the money.

I was hoping for a Disney sort of thing were love conquers all... or perhaps that only applies to white people. sigh..

Degenerasian said...

All women are in it for the money. It doesn't have to be a huge difference but between Japan and China is too much.

Amory Blaine said...

I hope not any more than guys are in it for the money. "it" meaning the whole game.