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Survey of middle-aged wimps provide case studies in male inadequacy


A decade ago, two words became popularized to describe the behavior of young males. They were soshoku-kei (herbivorous, but here meaning passive) and nikushoku-kei (carnivorous, but in this came meaning masculine and/or aggressive). These in turn spawned such spinoffs as rooru kyabetsu (rolled cabbage), referring to a man who appears wimpy on the exterior but is actually masculine in his behavior -- so said because rolled cabbage typically contains a filling of meat.

More recently, a new word has been making the rounds in the media. It's yowamono chunen dansei, literally middle-aged male weakling. But considering the nuances, "wimp" might work better.

You'd think that an account of such individuals would bore one to tears, but to Spa (Oct 24-31) it's grist for the mill. After interviewing 500 men, it produced an 8-page report on the lackluster lives of these middle-aged misfortunates.

Social critic Shunsuke Sugita explained to the magazine that, "In a nutshell, a yowamono male is likely to be a combination of two or more of three characteristics: 'poor,' 'single' and 'handicapped.'"

Spa initially questioned 3,080 males, asking, "Do you consider yourself to be a weak man?" Of these, 31.9% replied in the affirmative. (Total responses were broken down as follows: Yes, think so 14.7%; yes, agree somewhat, 17.2%; can't say either way, 27.3%; no, probably not, 19.6%; and don't think so, 21.2%.)

Based on the above, Spa narrowed down the subjects to 500 individuals with annual income of 4.5 million yen or less, and conducted a more detailed survey. In response to the question "What are the reasons why I consider myself a weak man?" economic factors such as "low annual income" and "low or negligible savings" were ranked first and second, respectively. 

According to the responses, the largest attribute by far these individuals have in common is low annual income, voiced by 77.2%, with an average annual figure of 2.36 million yen per year. This was followed, in descending order, by low savings (36.0%); being sick or handicapped (28.0%); unmarried (26.4%); low education level (18.8%); poor posture (18.2%); unstable working status (17.6%); not able to achieve job promotion (17.6%); no experience in encounters with opposite sex (7.2%); and divorced (4.8%).

The subjects were then asked, "What do you believe is the cause of your yowamono status? The top reply was given as difficulty at communicating with others (35.2%). This was followed by entered a company that paid low salaries (31.8%); didn't study hard in school (28.8%); other factors (20.8%); poor family environment (17.0%); bad appearance (15.4%); unable to find work as a regular company employee (12.4%); having been born a male (7.0%); addicted to gambling (5.8%); completely tied down due to marriage (5.2%); and lost everything due to divorce (4.8%).

Ultimately, Spa asked, who or what is to be blamed for their unhappy situation? A large majority blamed themselves, with 75.0% saying it was their own fault. This was followed by Japanese society (32.4%); politicians (16.8%); society at large (15.2%); their family (11.6%), other factors (6.8%), and women (3.6%).

Unfortunately, from looking online, weak males aren't getting much empathy or support from their female counterparts.

"From the survey responses, it's clear that only a small percentage of the people who are vulnerable are working together," a female author who goes by the nom de plume Toianna tells Spa, adding, "Instead of the need for solidarity between the weak, the situation continues to be one where each side is holding each other back by claiming that the other side is on the receiving end of the poor treatment."

More worrisome is that hostile posts by weak men are becoming increasingly noticeable on the internet. In the real world, this manifested itself in crimes such as the stabbing incident on the Odakyu commuter line in 2021, in which a 36-year-old unemployed man lashed out at female college students with a kitchen knife -- highlighting the problem of indiscriminate attacks by incels targeting women.

© Japan Today

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Prostitution is already legalised unofficially. Just look on how many brothels (ahm, soap lands, pink saloons, delivery services, street walkers, etc) are in Japan.

Problem is that those establishments are extremely expensive for the average salary man with thr salary described in the article. Therefore in order to load off, they find other activities, such as the ones also mentioned in the article.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I would think the first step in not being a weak man is not calling yourself a weak man.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

A large majority blamed themselves, with 75.0% saying it was their own fault.

The ideology of Japan almost requires people to blame themselves for not conforming or succeeding in the way it desires or prescribes. It's very convenient. Clear social problems can be avoided and never really investigated. It is down to the individual. But, if you do succeed, you have to thank everyone else for it.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

individuals with annual income of 4.5 million yen or less

i wonder what the total population of Japan falls into that category.

Male or female

4 ( +5 / -1 )

'Wimp' in itself is a misnomer. A sort of 'big word' used by juveniles who don't know the meaning.

Handicapped doesn't make you 'wimpy'. Nobody chooses that. Having a lot of money doesn't make you a better man either and it can't buy you love. And who needs a gold digger for a wife?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The only weak men in any society are those who SA, Abuse, Assault, and R*** women and children. But also those who, out of habit of their manliness, shout and yell at women. These are the true 'wimps' amongst men.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

This is so one sided. Women in Japando nothing to help this situation. Many are easily available for money, directly or for all the reasons. Few men meet minimum standards for bot friend material.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"A large majority blamed themselves, with 75.0% saying it was their own fault...followed by Japanese society (32.4%); politicians (16.8%); society at large (15.2%); their family (11.6%), other factors (6.8%), and women (3.6%)."

That's a lot more than 100%, and a poor analysis.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

All I can say is amongst the permanent bachelors I know and the women who could never find a man up to standard, the guys are happier and much better off financially.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

'Wimp' in itself is a misnomer. A sort of 'big word' used by juveniles who don't know the meaning.

Yep. Juvenile crap.

Reminds me of the useless trash that used to use ‘soy boy’ and crap like that.

On the handicapped point, I have a dear friend who suffers from mental illness. He has a wonderful partner who sees and appreciates the very decent man she has.

Despite his obvious serious unease and my telling him to not to feel obliged to do it, he always cane out for a beer when I was in the UK for Christmas.

No wimp.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It takes a strong man to turn away from the money first rat race and pursue the truly finer life rather than to be a mindless wage slave and sugar daddy to parasitic females.

11 ( +12 / -1 )


Wagw slaves are also often wimps you see, oh yeah. I worked for myself since 1990, 1990 can you believe it? Wouldn’t have had it any other way, happy times.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

t takes a strong man to turn away from the money first rat race and pursue the truly finer life rather than to be a mindless wage slave and sugar daddy to parasitic females.

So true on many levels.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

200,000 yen per month is definitely too low for a family. But as a woman, I think a woman who prioritizes family could make it work. I wouldn't recommend both parents working full time until kids are older, as kids need attention and care, but until then...

I would say that a wife willing to work just to the dependent tax-free line and get benefits adding 125,000 yen monthly to the household while working 2 or 3 days a week could boost the family income enough that a frugal family with 1 or 2 kids could get by...if the woman is willing to live without brand name things and lush experiences, and maybe in a 2LDK flat (bought or rented). There are places tofor 60-80,000 yen per month, good public transit in Japan, etc, but she has to want a family more than fancy material things. I think that is the problem.

And considering the average salary in Japan is more like 325,000 yen per month after taxes, thinking about the non-yowamono...

325+125 = 450,000 yen per month for a household, which is very doable for a family in Japan, and was about me and my ex husband's situation (we divorced for reasons unrelated to finance). Our mortgage on a 3LDK was 65,000 yen per month, he bought his car outright so no loan, and I took mass transit. We cooked a lot, etc. We lived fine on that salary, and would have been able for afford kids fine, as we were able to save 10-20% of our salaries each month (If you find it odd I didn't have kids and I divorced, I'm now happily married to someone in my home country and have a son. It's actually harder financially to have kids here, and I will be working more hours than I would like to for us to afford just this one child. In Japan, it is still easy to afford children imo, just Japanese women do not have realistic standards for living.)

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Well said fuse. Nice that things worked out for you. It is hard for foreign mothers raising kids in the Japanese school system.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

of the respondents I’d say it’s pretty good that most understand it’s their issue over others, particularly women. A real manly, or heck, just functioning adult, knows that even if it sucks to admit.

it can be hard to be motivated to strive for more, especially in a country like Japan where you can be well enough while also being fairly at the bottom.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In fact, since a few decades ago, everything male is taken away from men, globally. Jobs that paid enough for a whole family with kids replaced by precarious part time jobs at minimum wages, big strong cars replaced by EV or Kei toy cars or commuter tickets, high power amps and speakers replaced by little Bluetooth plastic garbage, strong men in movies replaced by anime idol dolls, city centers with drinking places and bars replaced by women-only fashion shops and bubble tea or smoothie cafeterias and a whole lot of everything following the same pattern. I am sure you find thousands of examples where men or male things are replaced. Whatever you might think differently, but the truth is, that we men have already lost almost everything. That is also not balanced out by a few majority male politicians, sports aces, fighters at military fronts or similar rare places where men have still a little say officially. And that's also why the planet has more and more problems, because women only filled the favorable spaces, not all necessary ones. They do now great work, but forget to marry, found a family, give sufficient birth to next generation etc, and the same for men, but even if they would like they cannot afford a woman, a family, a few children. I don't like playing one gender against the other, because cooperation is needed not conflicts, but to solve any problems in society, economy or globally, from now on, both genders probably will quickly have to massively retake and play their natural roles not the ones of the opposite gender.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

To me it seems like this is an issue of a lack of self confidence. Success at work as well as in findig a partner is to a large extent a matter of self confidence and believing that you deserve having love and success.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, basically in society’s eyes 70% of a man’s worth is his money?

And there are so many gold diggers and “alphas” throwing the words “simp, cuck, beta, (old English word for a bundle of sticks), nerd, geek” etc around.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So, basically in society’s eyes 70% of a man’s worth is his money?

Yes, but that's only if he cares.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good grief, people seriously worry about this stuff?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Amazing japanese logic: if a man starts to earn more money it automatically makes him strong. Money make him strong! Crazy logic.

yawamono ja nai, its called insecurity and unresolved psychological issues, also lack on spiritual growth which mostly due to Japan’s non religious or rather non Christian culture. Families dont provide children with unconditional love and all necessary emotional mirroring, so they grow overwhelmed by self-blame, self-loathing, shame, non existent spiritual values, insecurity, absence of self-love and compassion and of course project that into the world.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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