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  1. #1

    FEATURED -- Grass Fed 1: An Introduction of Herbivore Men - The Grass-Eaters

    Grass Fed: An Explanation of Herbivore Culture
    Let me begin by saying that I am not an expert whatsoever about Herbivore Culture. That said, I doubt there is anyone even in Japan who can give you an answer that can accurately portray Herbivore culture that is not biased by the feminine narrative. Also, although I did link some articles, this isn't an academic work or research, rather an opinion piece hence why I decided to put this in Anecdotal section.

    That’s What She Said
    The term Soushoku-kei Danshi a.k.a. “Herbivore Boys” is coined by Maki Fukusawa in 2007 and became a buzzword by 2009/2010. Fukusawa is a woman and her observations will obviously be skewed by the feminine perspective. Soon, another woman by the name of Megumi Ushikubo, the president of the market firm Infinity, authored “The Herbivores Ladylike Men are Changing Japan” using pseudo-science to come up with her conclusions. To be fair, a man named Masahiro Morioka, a professor from Osaka Prefecture University, made the term popular in his book "Love Lessons for the Herbivore Boys". The fact remains that the ones that made a fuss about this are the women, that is.

    Herbivore men don’t talk about being Herbivore with other men; we just are and the women didn't like it.

    The Japanese Beta Male
    What most Japanese traditional men are, are workaholic corporate salary-men. These men often work long hours and give all of their income to their wives – every last Yen. The wives in turn would give the husband allowances and keep the rest. Yes, this is a thing in Japan (Spacey, J 2012)

    What these men truly are, are Japanese Beta Males being bitch-slapped by their wives. Anyone with half a brain could see that this is not a life and is the primary motivating factor behind the Herbivore Culture as well as the reason it has gained so much ground in Japan. Hence, the Herbivore Men is a counterculture to Nikushoku Danshi or Carnivore Men which is the traditional male role, specifically on matters of love, employment and consumption.

    Lesser known but just as true is that Herbivore Culture had existed long before the term was coined. It started back in the early 90’s as a reaction towards Japan economic downturn. As Japan’s economy further descends, it accelerated the growth of Herbivore Culture. The Herbivore men are typically 35 years of age or younger and this demographic corresponds to the period of Japan’s economic crisis; it’s a culture 20 years in the making, there just wasn't a name for it back then.

    The Herbivore Men is a culture that rejects traditional Japanese way of life in favour of individual happiness instead.

    Media Hype
    What the media tend to report about Herbivore Men (that is commonly written by women) is that they are

    • Afraid of women and commitment – some writers went as far as to state that Herbivore men are afraid to hurt and get hurt emotionally.
    • Frugal and non-ambitious – Herbivore men only spend money for themselves and aren't looking to advance themselves in society.
    • Effeminate, Fashion and Beauty Conscious – the media loves to focus on these metrosexual men who spend their money on beauty products and fashion.
    • Abstaining from sex – either being celibate or being indifferent to sex.

    All I can do when I read articles that writes this is to facepalm myself. While the above criteria are true, it is very much misleading. Herbivore men are not identified by all 4 criteria; there are some Herbivore men that fit some of the criterion but no Herbivore man fit them. To think that Herbivore Men spend money on their hair, make up, fashion while at the same time saying that they are frugal when clearly beauty and fashion are luxury expenses, is ludicrous.

    The 70% of the men that are within the Herbivore demographic (20 – 35 y/o) whom identify themselves as Herbivore, include (but not limited to) NEETs (Not Employed, in Education or Training), and Freeters (men who are not employed or are not fully employed) which amounts to a sum of 2.5 million people who are further divided into different sub-cultures which consist of manga, video games, maid cafes and good-ole Japanese Adult Video (porn to you).

    NEETs, Freeters are included in the wider spectrum of other Herbivore men who do have fulltime employment and are doing well. NEETs and Freeters tend to be frugal and pretty much into the Otaku (Nerd) culture while at the same time being Soushoku-kei Danshi (Herbivore). And then there are the effeminate Herbivore Men who created this new trend of men who are into grooming and fashion and this is the Herbivore men that the media identifies readily and hyped.

    Another thing that the media likes to hype is the bruised pride and dignity of the Herbivore Men. Since the traditionally, women do not refuse the advances of Japanese man, the fact that modern Japanese women can and do reject Herbivore men at the point where it hurts their pride so badly that they simply cower, I find that also ludicrous especially when these findings were presented by Oricon (music statistic company of all things) and other companies using pseudo-science.

    Because the truth is, there are Herbivore Men who do date women; but many Herbivore men don't care. And although there are Herbivore men who are indeed shy and passive, it certainly doesn't explain why other Herbivore Men are celibate, asexual and/or indifferent.

    The important thing to note is that, the Herbivore culture is more inclusive and diverse than what the media portrays.

    Japanese Men are Going Their Own Way
    If you could ask every Herbivore Man, one common element that they all share is their attitude towards women, hence consequently marriage and relationships. The Carnivore Man is the symbol of traditional masculine role, i.e. a Japanese man is expected to support his wife and family without complaint even though he feels discontent and unhappy. The Carnivore Man’s social standing is defined by him having wealth and family, even if in pursuit of this makes him miserable.

    It also doesn't help that the main criticism that all the articles regarding Herbivore Man in Japan and around the world, come from the grievances of women who – if you read the subtext carefully – want their man to pamper them. The women want their man in their traditional roles as salary men who slaves at work all day and gives all his money to his wife; a life that Herbivore Men refuse to participate.

    Good reads on Herbivore Men
    Japan Counterculture: The Soushoku Danshi – Shave Magazine
    Japan’s Herbivore Men – Reuters
    Who are Japan’s Grass-Eaters – Discover Japan

    Read with caution
    The Herbivore’s Dilemma – Slate Magazine
    Blurring the Boundaries – Japan Times

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Southeast Asia

    Re: Grass Fed 1: An Introduction of Herbivore Men - The Grass-Eaters

    Nice insight !

    It seems that Japanese form of Patriarchy is in fact much worse that that of the West. Men working their ass of and the resources they make are taken over by wives who give them allowances ?! Fucking hell ! That is much worse than slavery.

    Thinking about it, it really is more debasing than slavery. A woman traps a man with her sexuality by masquerading it as something special or something privileged, men get duped and get permanently stuck in the web of feminine deception, men work all day long to obtain resources, women take all the resources away, women give the men an occasional sex and allowance.

    At least slavemasters were direct about their intentions.

    Looking at Japanese culture with a clear mind...not even a rational one or a logical one...anyone can see what kind of a raw deal the so-called "carnivore men" or "masculine men" are getting.

    The fact that women and the mass media are blatantly blind to this even after so long just shows you how deep..well more like how submerged and saturated we gynocentrism. Not feminism but gynocentrism.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matt Foley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Nowheresville, Ohio

    Re: Grass Fed 1: An Introduction of Herbivore Men - The Grass-Eaters

    Thank you for these concise, interesting insights. I have been fascinated by what is going on in Japan for several years now. It seems that they are light years ahead of us in the US.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Re: FEATURED -- Grass Fed 1: An Introduction of Herbivore Men - The Grass-Eaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyojiro Kagenuma View Post
    The 70% of the men that are within the Herbivore demographic (20 – 35 y/o) whom identify themselves as Herbivore,
    Wow. Just wow. 70%. That country is toast (not that we'll outlast them by much, if any).

    Agent Smith: Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Re: FEATURED -- Grass Fed 1: An Introduction of Herbivore Men - The Grass-Eaters

    Thanks for the great post Kyojiro. This is the best piece I have seen in any media that provides an insight into the Herbivore phenomenon in Japan. So many of the other articles I have seen over the past couple of years were very simplistic or had a real feminist bias. When I first hear of the scale of Herbivore phenomenon I was amazed at how simplistically the main stream media portrayed it. It was so simplistic that I knew that the media just didn't understand and were just too biased or lazy to investigate and report on it properly. At one time I trusted journalists but with every decade that goes by that trust is betrayed a little more, to the point now that I don't trust any of news unless I see it from multiple points of view, but I digress. I felt that there had to be some correlation to what is happening in Japan and the situation here in North America and you have provided that link for me. Thanks again for your excellent piece.

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