Here
and
Now

kuchikomi

The age of listless, wary, anxiety-ridden and insecure young men

55 Comments

Pity the young Japanese male. For him, it’s shock piled upon shock. No wonder he’s reeling.

The monthly magazine Nikkei Woman (November) lists what career-oriented men have had to contend with over the past 20 years. 1990 brought the bursting of the so-called bubble economy, the beginning of the end of opportunity as we knew it. 1993 saw in the “hiring ice age” -- firms hit by the recession froze hiring, condemning all too many college grads to drudgery as part-time “freeters.” One glimmer of light over the next few years was the venture firm Livedoor, fronted by flamboyant celeb-entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, aka Horiemon, symbol of commercial imagination and path-breaking derring-do. His arrest on fraud charges in 2006 doused the flicker of hope he represented. Then in 2008 came the Lehman shock. Japan’s economy didn’t quite die, but doesn’t quite live either.

In this climate, is it surprising that today’s young men tend to be listless, wary, anxiety-ridden and insecure? That’s how Nikkei Woman characterizes them, based on a survey of 300 concerning their attitudes and expectations toward work and love -- twin spokes, it seems, of the same wheel.

An instant portrait emerges from the survey responses. “Q: What does your job mean to you?” A livelihood pure and simple, shrug no fewer than 67%. Only 8.3% see their work as a means of achieving dreams and personal goals; a mere 5.7% say it’s a reason for living.

“Q: Do you have confidence in your work?” Yes, say 34%, versus 32% who say flatly “No” and an additional 34% who reply they can’t say one way or the other.

Work confidence, at least, is higher than love confidence, which only 13.3% claim to have, as against 57% who say they don’t have it.

“Men now in their 20s and early 30s are of the generation that grew up under the banner of respect for individuality,” explains marketing writer Megumi Ushikubo. “They have little experience of the triumph of outright victory in all-out competition. Consequently, they don’t know their own potential, which is why they have no confidence.”

The term “soshoku danshi” (herbivorous male, as distinct from the carnivores of earlier generations) has grown widely current since being coined in 2006 to describe the timid, emotionally stunted specimens now on the threshold of the prime of life. It’s hard to blame them. As consultant Takao Maekawa points out, with salaries stagnant and jobs, if you’re lucky enough to have one, insecure, “it’s enough to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for their work.”

Herbivorous -- more or less passive, that is to say -- attitudes toward courtship are a direct result. “Young men don’t have the confidence their fathers had that they will be able to support a family,” says Ushikubo. “That tends to drain a man’s romantic impulses.”

Adding insult to injury, women, with less vested interest in the way things used to be, are adapting better than men to the way things now are. “Seeing women emerge stronger than themselves,” observes Maekawa, “has further undermined many men’s confidence.”

Nikkei Woman presents all this for the benefit of women at a loss to deal with their increasingly dispirited sexual partners. The magazine’s advice smacks of child psychology; it recommends generous doses of praise, encouragement, and understanding. For most of the postwar period, men have been bred to be single-minded breadwinners in a system that worked. It no longer does. Adjustment will take time.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

55 Comments
Login to comment

No wonder the suicide rate is so high is it?? Nothing to look forward to. Better get out the MJ and forget the s*** of life for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More rubbish from myopic "experts" out to make a quick buck. The listless, insecure young men of today are carbon copies of their fathers. Japanese men are as selfish, immature and emotionally underdeveloped as they have always been. That's simply the very nature of this beast.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Phew!! As an ambitious, confident, secure old man, reading this really takes a load off my mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All true, but women have it worse! = low birthrate of Japan, families at poverty level.

-these are serious issues and not something to laugh about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ben4short - i totally agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ben4short

I agree too. Unlike their predecessor they don't have the luxury of being the only fish in the pond anymore. They must either adapt or die out like the doodoo bird.

I always think a society or culture doesn't truly change until the women in it changes. So if things are too get better then focus on the women.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ben4short - a brilliant summary of a not-so-complex problem. And so early in the morning too! Obviously not a listless, wary, anxiety-ridden and insecure specimen. Can we have your phone number.....??!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The magazine’s advice smacks of child psychology; it recommends generous doses of praise, encouragement, and understanding. For most of the postwar period, men have been bred to be single-minded breadwinners in a system that worked. It no longer does

You have got to be joking. First of all, this isn't just a "JAPANESE MALE" thing. Surveys taken in western countries said the same things thirty or fourty years ago as women began to get higher in the job market. Many men felt threatened. So Japan (not as a whole, just the men who this magazine say are feeling so unconfident) is just a little late to catch the train.

Second of all, lots of praise and encouragement? That does make them sound like children. There is nothing wrong with seeking that from your partner (after all, your girlfriend/wife SHOULD offer you support in whatever you do, and VICE VERSA), but the way this puts it makes them sound like they're not worth the effort to begin with. Next it will say "make sure to downplay/cover up your accomplishments and not talk about them at the dinner table, as it will make your partner fall deeper into depression and self-loathing".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Makes no difference if Japanese men have always been selfish, immature, and emotionally underdeveloped. The point of the article is that they are now acting and behaving differently. They are now listless, wary, anxiety-ridden and insecure, selfish, immature and emotionally underdeveloped young men instead of confident, aggressive, selfish, immature and emotionally underdeveloped young men. Look at it that way if you want.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gosh kirakira25, now ya gone ahead and made me blush (so early in the morning). But thanks nonetheless. The thing is, over the course of my long journey in Japan, I have yet to develop what I would consider a close friendship with a Japanese male, the type of emotional intimacy I'm used to with close, lifelong Western friends, both here and back home. Sure there's guys who are good for a few drinks and a laugh or two if you're lucky, but try to find a Japanese friend who can open up to you, share his deepest fears and hopes, put away his rehearsed questions and answers, show a spark of vitality and creativity and spontaneity, and not be so damned worried about what others might be thinking, and I'm afraid you'll come up empty-handed. What's interesting to me is that for these exact same reasons, more and more Japanese women are finding these men less and less attractive, so we share the same frustration.

As for my phone number, ah . . .jeez . . . well . . . lemme think about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GJDailleult, ya wanna try once more with that one, por favor?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Naah. At least today's oyajis knew they had a chance to get ahead if they worked hard. Can't say that about the young fellas today...most of them have given up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The labor market here is so screwed. I wonder sometimes how in such a short time Japan went from "labor heaven - life time employment" to "labor hell - all the young workers are hakken". I supposed for the ladies "labor hell" is actually an improvement but for the guys it's a serious drop-off..... It'll be interesting to see how things turn when all that wealth locked up by the elderly starts to be loosened up by the death tax. What will Japan become then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have yet to develop what I would consider a close friendship with a Japanese male, the type of emotional intimacy I'm used to with close, lifelong Western friends, both here and back home. Sure there's guys who are good for a few drinks and a laugh or two if you're lucky, but try to find a Japanese friend who can open up to you, share his deepest fears and hopes, put away his rehearsed questions and answers, show a spark of vitality and creativity and spontaneity, and not be so damned worried about what others might be thinking,

OK! Stop! Starting to sound dangerously attractive now!!!! (S`OK, you are safe as houses with me - I am married and 9 months pregnant!!!) but you make some valid points - it has taken a long time to even get to this point with my (Japanese) husband. And in fact, everything you just said, my female friends and I often say the same thing about Japanese women. We just think completely differently.

I actually feel really sorry for Japanese as a whole sometimes, especially the younger generation. They are caught between knowing what they need to become, and yet because of the strength of societies influence on them are unable to find the courage (in a lot of cases but not all) to actually make that break and be different.

My husband struggled with this issue over a number of years and it nearly spelled the death of our marriage on several occasions. He made "the break" by marrying me (you can`t imagine the shock waves that that caused!) but struggled for years to come to terms with his persona as "a Japanese" and as "a mixed marriage". Thankfully now he is comfortable with himself and even his own mother said to me just yesterday how happy he looks compared to his friends and brothers - he looks "free" (her words, not mine!)

I`ve just told my best friend about your post and SHE wants your number too now!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok. I will get attacked for this but here it is. Japan is not the only country with poor job and romance outlooks for young men. I just returned from a country with far less positive economic outlook even more barriers to overcome to meet societal expectations for manhood. And yet young men are getting on with things. They are hustling around to create opportunities and seize on those that may exist. While they were resigned to their difficult fate, I never heard anyone say they would give up and become passive bystanders in their own lives.

Bottom line. Japan has spoiled and kawaii'd itself into a deep black pit. Parents over protected and spoiled both sexes leaving them weak and lacking in motivation. Media told women to be two dimensional images of sticky cuteness to be accepted and loved. Men were told they needed to be more sensitive while media coated them in makeup and told them that they needed to be a male distortion of kawaii.

Young people here are like fashion cut outs from magazines. They are an image with no depth because depth is not encouraged. Critical thinking and the spark that would set people off on finding solutions to their woes just doesn't seem to be a trait that survived the kawaii social engineering. Instead everyone looks great, idealistic, ready for tomorrow and very few actually are.

Women are moving forward not because they have stepped up, but because their low paid jobs and typical habit of residing at home with family give them the illusion of financial and social independence. While some claim this great female revolution, many other publications show most still waiting for their pet salaryman to solve all their future economic issues. And if most had to live out on their own, they would not survive beyond living paycheck to paycheck without financial help from family or partners.

This problem is self inflicted and will cripple Japan's capacity to compete if something is not done NOW. I fear kawaii little fashion plates is all most of the new generation are good for unless they wake up, take responsiblity for this time and place and start looking for a path they can follow. People around the world in far worst situations are doing just that. And getting on with their lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The sad thing is that it's only going to get worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Been here over 5 years and have only one Japanese male friend. He spent a lot of time overseas so is pretty normal and well adjusted. Mostly, find them very difficult to get on with, or mostly just boring. Generally, those that have lived overseas have a bit more life in them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tkoind2 - why on earth would you be attacked for that? Another excellent perspective in my opinion!

What is WITH me today???! It must be the late pregnancy hormones!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree its tough for japanese guys right now, for all the reasons mentioned above, plus the fact that it seems to be in vogue right now for guys to act as much like women as they possibly can. Look at all the poster boys right now, and have a walk around Shibuya and look at the guys that are with the pretty girls. Most of these guys probably have less actually physical strength than the women they are with, and they probably spend more on their hair and accesories. Id be confused as hell if I was a young Japanese guy in 2009.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I`d be confused as hell if I was a young Japanese guy in 2009

And yet it is realy so simple - be who you are and be proud of that, NOT who the magazines tell you you should be. But in a society such as Japan where the group dynamic is still so important and standing out is frowned upon, it is so difficult to think that way.

All my Japanese friends complain about how un-manly Japanese guys are, and how they all like western guys because they are more "danseiteki" - but then these same girls all have pictures of Kat-tun style pretty boys adorning their cellphones. No wonder the poor guys are confused!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I might be wrong but to me, that's also due to their education system ... The japanese people I know were not trained for their job at school. They learnt general things and then were proposed jobs in totally different domains. They were trained by the company but quickly and so they don't feel they can excel in their job. When I told them in my country we choose what we want to do and then go to school to graduate in that field to be effective at work later, I was told "it sounds good but stressful" ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I found that countries where men have to do military duty are much more mature and manly than those who don't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone is wary, anxiety ridden and insecure in this economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foxie,you have it right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

M51T you are very right about that. The differene is what do people do with that anxiety and fear. Young Japanese guys seem to be burying their heads in bad 1980's obachan like haircuts and a zombie like denial/depression fueled by inaction and dispair. While their female counterparts are setting expectations that cannot be reached.

Meanwhile nearly everyone else in the world is trying their hand at new things and trying to face up to the current situation and keep life moving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I disagree with this article,(no doubt, writtne by a woman columnist) and with some of the comments made here about the supposed plight of the young Japanese man today. It's been that way for years. Japanese are late bloomers by nature, constrained by social behaviour associated with their age and experience during their careers, while most women are more free-lancing and less constrained to follow the same path, while simultaneously living with their parents. It's just a matter of time before the Japanese male starts climbing up the pecking order unique to Japan's social structure and eventually begin to define himself. True, if they lived in the U.S. they probably might achieve a lot more than their counterparts in Japan, but that's not issue. Until Japan can gradually free itself from some of these constraints and cultural prejudices to which they are accustomed, only then can the young Japanese male become a different breed from what they are today. The article might be a little myopic about analyzing only a certain point and time-line of a young Japanese man's life in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's kind of hard to feel sorry for Japanese men. As for Japanese women, I think it's just down to inequality. My sister in the UK left home when she went to college, studied hard, shared a house to save for a mortgage, bought her own house, car,etc. She worked hard to get promotions and improve her salary and didn't really need to get married for financial reasons. How many Japanese women can really follow this kind of path, or would want to?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One issue that I think is very important is the education system. Their heads are filled with facts and equations and dates and other things that are "memorizable." What they are NOT taught are problem solving skills. As far as I can tell, they're not taught how to use the right side of their craniums at all! So what are they supposed to do when a problem is not maru/batsu??

I think this leads to a life of follow-the-others and if the system fails them, they don't know how to pick themselves up and make opportunities for themselves. Sure, the economy is bad but that doesn't mean you have to work at Lawson all your life. Save some money, take a night class, get a skill: make yourself needed.

Oh, and as far as I can tell they're also not taught how to do research properly. My coworkers are always so amazed how fast I find information...when I take 30 seconds to type a few words into Google.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My coworkers are always so amazed how fast I find information...when I take 30 seconds to type a few words into Google.

You meant "three" seconds, right?

That's how long it took me to type the few words above.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this "age" has been going on for 200 years

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You meant "three" seconds, right?

That's how long it took me to type the few words above.

Wow. Do you mind bending over so I can bask in your radiant glory for three seconds?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those first two lines should have been quotations, damn it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jizzeez> the key question here is " would want to". I think not many ( or rather say- just few) Japanese women would want to follow the path of western sisters:) they just think that to get married means to resolve your financial problems. but frankly speaking this attitude is not exclusively Japanese ladies attitude, imho in many countries where the economical situation is unstable/ difficult, women prefer to make their career as housewives…

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I agree with SOME of the points mentioned in the article, so many of the comments in this and other 'analyses of the modern Japanese male' are so full of generalizations and contradictions that you can't take them with any more than a tiny grain of salt (err... at least what I've read in reports about them, such as this one).

They say things like, "The men of today aren't like the cavemen of the past..." and a few minutes later saying the young men of today's Japan are too emotional and feminine while the traditional Japanese male is more interested in sex (and keep in mind in international stats Japan is rated more or less lowest in terms of married couples keeping the 'home fires burning' -- 5 times a month or less on average, I believe it was) and love. There are stupid books with women calling the modern male 'herbivores' while salary-men are 'carnivores', and that the former are unmistakable in appearance despite the book saying it's hard to pick them out. A very well respected woman reported a few days ago that young men need to be firmly disciplined and young women coddled in order to produce respectable, dedicated and obedient men (in the workplace), and now you have this article saying the men need to be sympathized with and coddled.

Anyway, my point is it's simply typical gossip rags that produce this stuff. True, many Japanese boys and men are wearing girl's hair clips, trimming eye-brows, and it's true that Japan leads the world in men's cosmetics with some 80% of all sales, but that doesn't mean nearly what the article is trying to indicate overall.

What's more, while of COURSE there are a slough of more independent women emerging (how could there NOT be with the way things used to be, or even still are in many aspects), there are a growing number of flakes out there as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan - "many Japanese boys and men are wearing girl's hair clips, trimming eye-brows.."

Hey, I trim my eyebrows.. don't want to have Gandalf brows when I'm just in my 30's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

eigonosensei: Please keep in mind that there is a huge difference between joining the military to make a living and doing compulsonary military service of 2 years like in Korea, Greece, Turkey etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

love confidence

Work, winning, wealth, weapons and war are all ways that men have come to understand their historical position in the human social hierarchy. But when the sole criteria defining a man is a woman, (praise, encouragement, and understanding), modern masculinity will be increasingly defined by anxiety-ridden insecure males.

Men are expendable in a convenient consumer driven world where petroleum has replaced testosterone. As ominous as that prognosis is for males, female selection is necessary to raises the bar of defining masculine criteria that women find attractive. When there isn't much maleness left for women to select, the listless anxiety driven male becomes even more listless and anxiety driven. This is called extinction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

when the sole criteria defining a man is a woman

This dependency is the root of the social masculinity crisis in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dragonquest 10 will be out next year, they have plenty to look forward to

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lots of great comments here that hit the nail on the head, so to speak. One of the most frustrating aspects of Japanese society for me is the kohai-sempai system. I know it will NEVER go away as it's so ingrained into the psyche and culture. But it leads to all the bullying and status quo that goes on in this country. If young people were allowed to freely express themselves and try new things without the fear of being hammered down by the lifeless, fall-in-line dinosaurs above them, Japan might be a more relaxed place to thrive. Or something like that. Respect for elders is admirable, but the drawbacks I think outweigh the benefits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Funny...I was just talking along similar lines with a girlfriend of mine who had gotten dating advice from her Japanese male friend. He told her not to dress up too much because the J-boy might think that she would be high maintenance and he wouldn't be able to afford to date her. My thought was that since she is a foreigner, gorgeous, independent and strong she might be indimidating to these young insecure Japanese guys.

I think young guys are in a tough spot. Perhaps they feel repressed by the typical Japanese company and a bit awkward around the stronger women they are meeting. Hopefully, this is a sign that times are changing!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the article is from a gossip rag, that said it still has some points as well as many more posted. I agree with those that say the J-male hasnt really changed much if at all, the ecomomy & jobs have & thats the main difference, while dad has/had a pretty steady job thats getting rarier by the day here now & many young guys look at the old man & dont want to become like him but they have little idea of what to do, how to proceed, THERE IS NO MANUAL so a lot of them are lost at sea.

There is a lot going on in Jpn these days, lots of issues, problems. Jpn as a whole is really going to have to re-invent this country or its going to be in bad shape. I used to think Jpn cud/wud start re-nventing itself but these days I am thinking they all want to be captains & go down with the ship. Its getting so bad I find myself thinking I really need to consider that the mrs & I dogs/cats & all might have to leave at some point as it seems the only thing Jpn can do these days is make things worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Funny...I was just talking along similar lines with a girlfriend of mine who had gotten dating advice from her Japanese male friend. He told her not to dress up too much because the J-boy might think that she would be high maintenance and he wouldn't be able to afford to date her. My thought was that since she is a foreigner, gorgeous, independent and strong she might be indimidating to these young insecure Japanese guys."

This difference in perception always makes me laugh. Which is she: High-Maintenance or Intimidating?

Oops, I think I'm off subject...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

these men are pathetic. They've let themselves become sucked into the limp, wet, metro-sexual rubbish of the vegan munching, PC, pro-feminist crowd.

Join a rugby team, suck it up and get on with it. There is nothing sadder than a man whining about how tough life is. They are modern-day eunuchs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The thing is that there are Japanese guys who are perfectly fine examples of male-ness--work hard, have relationships with women, and do all the things that people profess in the comments section--but most of them will not bother to defend themselves on some English-language news site. So you run the risk of group-think, that everybody in the world (or at least this site) agrees that all Japanese males are "pathetic".

The male-centric, slightly xenophobic culture that is Japan also has a whole host of problems with foreigners, all of that coming to an akward and personal level when we talk about interracial friendships and relationships. But can you blame the individual person, or even a generation? Whatever happened to approaching people with an open mind? Seems like generalizations are the order of the day. (By the way, I think that most foreigners would probably prefer to make friends with the down-to-earth, laid-back guys doing blue-collar work, rather than the uptight momma's boys in business suits. Cool guys, once you get over the language barrier.)

Anyways, this stuff is nothing to worry about. Like all trends, things ebb and flow. I expect the next generation of Japanese males to be the complete opposite of this current generation (who will be their fathers). Just don't complain when they turn out to be what you were asking for..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Feminine IS the new masculine in Japan, it seems to me. Make fun of all the make-up wearing, long-haired J-boys you want, they still get hot girls. The "herbivores" are the more "normal" guys. They live, or rather, want to live normal lives but have no motivation for anything (work OR girls) because they feel like they're just going to fail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From a western standpoint, I would Japanese men are very confused. The anthropoligst in me says that its just a differnt culture, and through out history and cultures men have changed and varied greatly. So I tell myself its normal to see men dress like the whores of new york city, or k1 boxers to have green hair and wear mini skirts, and for some of my high school male students to spend more time on their between class than the girls, and to see guys wear pink hairpins, and guys wear long pointed clown-esk boots with more accessories around their fingers, wrists, neck, and body than all the girls I have dated in my life combined. I tell my self, its just normal for Japan. So who I am to judge. I will let all the women who can't find a man and the rapidly shrinking birthrates to do all the judging. No, but honestly, the guys I described above are a pretty small majority. Smaller than the "out of the closet" homosexuals in the USA. I bet there are more homosexual men in California along than all the metro sexual j-boys in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought this was an article about the Japanese national soccer team.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

^^^^ haha! That's so cold!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Men now in their 20s and early 30s are of the generation that grew up under the banner of respect for individuality,” explains marketing writer Megumi Ushikubo. “They have little experience of the triumph of outright victory in all-out competition. Consequently, they don’t know their own potential, which is why they have no confidence.”

This whole passage confuses me. I'm an American, and a New Hampshire native taboot; you don't get much more ruggedly individualistic than that without moving to Montana. The point of this passage to me, then, seems to be contradictory to all sense. Ushikubo appears to be saying that individualism decreases competitive spirit. What? The complete OPPOSITE is true. Individualism is the pinnacle of vested self-interest; it places the individual ahead of the group. Taken to its negative extreme, it creates narcissitic, arrogant people who will undercut anyone and anything in an effort to be top dog. However, taken to its POSITIVE extreme, individualism drives innovation, advancement, and achievement.

The key to harnessing those positive qualities in the workforce is in learning how to blend diverse individuals with equally diverse talents and interests into a single, motivated unit that strives toward a shared goal. Just look at any successful sports team. You may have a roster of all the best hitters, pitchers, outfielders and infielders that money can buy, but if they're all just playing to boost their own statistics the whole team loses. It's when the players come together and effectively marshall their varied talents as a GROUP that the final goal of a championship title can be achieved.

I can't really blame these guys for being "listless, wary, anxiety-ridden and insecure." I would be, too, if I knew I was going to be judged (personally and professionally) on how I measure up to all the old fossils who went before me, and not on what I'm capable of as a person right now, right here, today. History is like an anvil: you can stand on it to help you reach high places and use it as a tool as you make beautiful things, but if you tie it around your neck and try to swim, all you're going to do is drown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My opinion is that Japanese men don´t get a life of their own. It belongs to The Company. Whose sacho and colleagues are all powerful intimidating females.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mnemosyne23,

Your quoting from the big book Americana. While the USA has benefitted from its individualism at all cost it has also hurt us very much as well. Yes some individuals are apt to do more on their own, but in my experience being a part of a team and working as a unit often lead to more overall success. Japan has a society that is both unique in culture and has produced a very robust market economy without the high level of income inequality that we see in the USA. No, I am not saying that all in Japan are equal, just that Japan has produced more equality in terms of wages than in the US. In the US getting that diverse individualism to blend is often like herding cats. I feel for all modern males. It seems to me that males in most developed societies are trying to live a duality of existence. They are biologically driven to act and think in a certain way yet society has made much of this taboo or un-PC.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem with Japan is that its people (men and women) are socialized for a society in which they no longer live. For years social contacts were determined by external factors rather than internal drive. Japanese didn't have friends so much as associates. There was a group that would be together for a long time and they would adjust to one another over time. They were never good at approaching strangers and making friends. That wasn't such a big problem when they didn't have to deal with them so much. They would be in the same little village or company or neighborhood or group of mothers for most of their lives and their relationships would develop satisfactorily if slowly.

Japanese society no longer works that way. Groups are as ephemeral as jobs and domeciles. People don't have enough time to develop relationships as they used to. Now they are constantly moving from place to place. Before they can make friends, its on to the next thing. They feel lonely and frustrated and they withdraw.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" it recommends generous doses of praise, encouragement, and understanding."

I'm not a young dispirited Japanese guy, but I would't mind some of that either. Must get my wife to subscribe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese men`s lives are characterised by overbearing, dominant mothers and scary fathers, whom they rarely see and have no relationship with. They spend their lives looking over their shoulders, wondering what others, especially their senpai or bucho, are thinking about them. Salarimen live pathetic lives, commuting for hours and living in rabbit hutches, with virtually no social life. for entertainment they play video games, pachinko or read manga. Their lives are totally boring and meaningless, for the most part. I feel so sorry for them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites