all started when we received an email from a gentleman who
was researching Japanese men’s fashion.
While his research produced the usual results for
fashion – white shirts, navy blue or gray suits, simple
silk ties, black shoes, classy leather bags, etc. for formal
wear, Polo shirts and slacks for casual wear, and something
simple to wear at home during the weekend if they are not
playing golf. A
small group of trendy men in the media, entertainment,
fashion, and other similar industries (including yakuza
gangs, if that counts as a category by itself), preferred
Italian designer labels almost all the time.
‘shocked’ our researcher was when he delved into the
inner layers. The
Japanese men’s underwear choices were perceived by him to be very feminine by US
standards, though he has not seen what
some men are wearing in America.
Now let us be clear – American fashion might set
global trends in fashion in a lot of ways but it does not
mean that the world dresses like America. For example, while America has pretty much given up on formal
dress at work that is not the case in many other countries
of the world. However,
American casual wear at work has been embraced for, well,
casual wear. Similarly,
women in many parts of the world would die rather than be
seen in track suits or T shirts or
without makeup in public.
So no wonder that uninspiring
boxer shorts are not
what the rest of the world wears inside their slacks.
Underwear for men)
young men typically prefer briefs and thongs rather than
boxers are not unknown, that is not what they wear when they
are dressing up. A
boxer is what you wear in bed, as one Japanese man in his
20s tells MYNIPPON.
look that is now being referred to in America as
‘metrosexual’ is nothing but a polished version of
standard Japanese style for men.
It is true that some Japanese men have been known to
shave hair on many parts of their bodies other than the face, many ‘idols’ routinely apply lipstick and put
makeup on when they appear in public, and do not necessarily
feel shy about wearing what Americans might call as cute
underwear. So the macho image of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise that American media and fashion houses
project for men does not fly with Japanese men.
Thus, almost all underwear in Japan, for both men and
women, is locally designed and produced, except for a some
minor imports from Europe, which is much closer to Japan in
fashion and style anyway.
there is no scarcity of women who love such effeminate
A clean-shaven face with not a trace of hair, good
(even long) hair, feminine appearance, and a trace of makeup
in the right body parts is all you need to develop a
following among mostly European girls, who like to refer to
them as ‘boi’.
As an English girl who likes no one but these
Japanese metrosexual men tells us, “I only find Japanese
men attractive now. Western
men really don’t do anything for me anymore.
And it’s the feminine guys I find the most
attractive – the type that you see around Tokyo working in
convenience stores to earn enough money to be in their
visual kei bands where you see them
dressed in girlie
clothes and men's
the Japanese music
celebrity, is a classic example of such men.
If no hints were provided, it would be impossible to
predict Gackt’s gender by looking at his face.
In response to our story on Gackt, we have heard not
only from his music
fans but also
girls who became his music
fans because they like his effeminate looks.
it is not just the gays and
crossdressers that prefer the
Japanese man’s cool look.
We do not even think that the look should be
characterized as feminine.
It is just a different style that runs counter to the
shabby look that seems to define
the American man these
some gays jokingly complained in a New York Times article
that they can no longer distinguish
gays from heterosexual
men, we believe that the metro-sexual look just shows that
we all have a desire to look pretty and the
has done a great service to other men – teaching them
about hygiene and body appearance.
And guys, don’t worry of being labeled as
‘feminine’; the number of women who chase such men is
As Rebecca from the US puts it, "I personally believe
that so-called "Fem-bois" are attractive as
always been attracted to such men. I've never really gone
for the tough-guy western mannerism."
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