There's a peculiar trend afoot that bucks the macho man culture in Japan: young men who are heterosexuals but say they aren't interested in girls.
Away from the strutting are the retiring wallflowers, a quiet army of sweet young men with floppy hair and skinny jeans. These young men are becoming known as Japan's "herbivores" — from the Japanese phrase for "grass-eating boys" — guys who are heterosexual but who say they aren't really interested in matters of the flesh.
They are drawn to a quieter, less competitive life, focusing on family and friends — and eschewing the macho ways of the traditional Japanese male.
They include men such as Yukihiro Yoshida, a 20-something economics student, who is a self-confessed herbivore. "I don't take initiative with women, I don't talk to them," he says, blushing. "I'd welcome it if a girl talked to me, but I never take the first step myself."
Multiple recent surveys suggest that about 60 percent of young Japanese men — in their 20s and early 30s — identify themselves as herbivores. Their Sex and the City is a television show called Otomen, or Girly Guys. The lead character is a martial arts expert, the manliest guy in the whole school. But his secret passions include sewing, baking and crocheting clothes for his stuffed animals.
Don't we simply used to call these guys nerds? Louisa Lim of NPR has the story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120696816&ft=1&f=100 (Photo: Louisa Lim/NPR)