From carnivores to herbivores: how men are defined in Japan
The popular media in Japan have coined various expressions to describe certain categories of men such as “Nikushoku Danshi” (carnivore men) and ”Soshoku Danshi” (herbivore men), though they have nothing to do with what guys eat.
Japanese magazines and TV programs often use expressions such as “〇〇 Danshi” (〇〇 men). The Japanese magazine FYTTE, in its March issue, introduces many specific categories of men.
Here is a list of some categories, so that you will know what they mean when you hear Japanese people and media mention “〇〇 Danshi”.
Nikushoku Danshi (Carnivorous Men)
“Nikushoku Danshi” refers to men who are active in seducing women. Young Japanese women are said to be attracted to this type of guy whom they find strong and reliable.
Soshoku Danshi (Herbivore Men)
“Soshoku Danshi” are passive types who are shy about relationships. Many do not have a girlfriend and are content just to be friends. According to marriage consulting company PARTNER AGENT’s survey of 400 single men who are around 30 years old, 75% said that they think they are “Soshoku Danshi.”
“Gyoshoku Danshi” (Fish-eating Men)
“Gyoshoku Danshi” are not as aggressive as “Nikushoku Danshi.” They tend to be very patient and will wait until the woman they are attracted to starts to love them. They are usually smart and calm. There are various sub-categories for “Gyoshoku Danshi”—men who have bit of a wild streak are called the “Grilled fish with salt type;” men who think of themselves as all-knowing are the “Teriyaki type;” men who are patient are the “Boiled fish type;” while the narcissists are the “Meuniere type.”
“Rolled cabbage Danshi” (Rolled cabbage Men)
“Rolled cabbage Danshi” look like “Soshoku Danshi” and have a low-key fashion style and appearance (they like to wear cardigans and sneakers). However, their personality is actually “Nikushoku Danshi”—sort of like a hamburger in a cabbage roll. When women get close to them and they go out for a drink together, the men turn into “Nikushoku Danshi.”
“Creamy Danshi” (Creamy men)
“Creamy Danshi” have a sweet smile, beautiful skin and mainly black hair. They are hard workers. They care about a woman’s feelings, are good listeners and give good responses. Though their appearance is soft and sweet, they have a masculine personality also, so they can be relied upon to support women if something happens. They “heal” women like sweets, hence the term “Creamy Danshi.”
“Rikei Danshi” (Science Men)
“Rikei Danshi” think things out logically like scientists. They are defined as telling old jokes, inflexible, thinking logically, not good at relationships with people, and not good at gossip conversation. Their communication is usually predictable and they treat jokes logically, analyzing them. They are not used to communicating with women and don’t keep up with trends and fashion, so they are not good at humorous conversation.
“Biyo Danshi” (Beauty Men)
“Biyo Danshi” are fastidious about their hairstyle and skin. They are defined as loving themselves the best, their way of communication is a little childish, they are moody and carefree about time. They also care how other people think of them.
“Culture Danshi” (Culture Men)
“Culture Danshi” like subculture. They are defined as bookworms, like indie films and minor things, they are not good in public, and care about their individuality. They’re into literature, films, music and the humanities. They are happy when someone sympathizes with their feelings. Japanese actor Joe Odagiri is an example of “Culture Danshi.” He is a scriptwriter and director of the 2009 movie “Sakurana hitotachi” (Cherry blossom like people).
“Fashion Danshi” (Fashion Men)
“Fashion Danshi” love brand new trends and rare items. They are defined as caring how they look, narcissistic, being too proud, chasing ideals, having information and knowledge about cutting-edge fashion and love temporary things such as accessories. They get new things sooner than other people and like to be the first ones to wear or own them.
“Ryori Danshi” (Cooking Men)
“Ryori Danshi” love to cook meals and prepare bento (boxed lunches). They are defined as perfectionists, dislike being conspicuous, have a good planning ability, and work hard little by little. Many of them started to cook to learn better nutritional habits and save money. Now they love cooking. They have various menu repertories, especially for bentos.
Actually, men who make their own bento are called “Bento Danshi.” Japanese actor Mokomichi Hayami is an example of “Ryori Danshi” and he has his own cooking show section “MOCO’S Kitchen” in the TV program “ZIP!” on NTV. He has published cookbooks such as “Hayami Mokomichi ga tsukuru 50 no recipe kimi to tabetara, kitto oishii.” (50 recipes from Mokomichi Hamami that are delicious to eat together) and “MOCO meshi kimi wo egao ni suru ryouri” (MOCO meals to make you smile). Actor Osamu Mukai is another example of “Ryori Danshi.” He plays a French chef in the Fuji TV drama “Hungry!”
“Outdoor Danshi” (Outdoor Men)
“Outdoor Danshi” love outdoor activities and being in touch with nature. They are defined as being strict on themselves, doing things without saying much, good at cooking, and often dress in sports wear. “Outdoor Danshi” include sociable people who enjoy camping, hiking in the mountains and like the sea. They usually can do things by themselves, so they don’t rely on women much. Japanese actor Eita is an example of “Outdoor Danshi.” He says he has liked communing with nature from childhood and mountain climbing since last year.
“Otaku Danshi” (Geek Men)
“Otaku Danshi” are maniacs about their hobbies. They don’t pay too much attention to their appearance, are a bit shy, speak passionately about their interests and talk faster than others. They like to hang out with people who have the same hobby. They are not good at communicating with women unless the woman can talk about his hobby.
“Otomekei Danshi” (Girly type Men)
“Otomekei Danshi” love sweets and pretty things, just like a girl. They are defined as loving sweets, having girly hobbies, neutral appearance, having pretty accessories, and the opposite personality of “Nikushoku Danshi.” They are mild-mannered.