lifestyle

9 things that make an ‘ikemen’ (hot guy)

78 Comments
By Karen Masuda

Looking at the picture at left, you’d think good-looking Japanese guys were a dime a dozen. Maybe so, at least in popular Japanese or Korean TV dramas featuring “ikemen,” or hot guys.

But what makes an ikemen? The ones that Japanese girls drool over have a specific look, and obviously, every man can’t fit "the type." But just giving the impression of being ikemen is ever so important for young Japanese women these days, and you may be surprised that it’s possible to fit the image regardless of looks.

Below are nine ikemen characteristics that Japanese women find attractive. They could be considered as tips, and if you are willing to comply with them, they might bring your closer to reaching ikemen zen. And even if you’re not looking to be the next Shun Oguri, it’s at least interesting to know what turns on young Japanese women these days.

【1】 A low voice - (says a teenage girl)

“A low voice sounds mature, so that even if his face isn’t my type, his voice can start my heart racing. A low voice is sexy, definitely attractive, but if you are trying out a new low voice, make sure it is clear. Nothing can be gained from an unclear low voice.”

【2】 The slight smell of fabric softener on his clothes - (says a woman in her 20s)

“If I smell the slight smell of fabric softener when I approach him, it makes me blush.” The smell of fabric softener gives the impression of cleanliness, which is very important in a ikemen. Maybe because of this, many young men use fabric softener these days. Heavy cologne is not necessary, the slight fragrance of a body soap, shampoo, or fabric softener is enough to draw the attention of young women today.

【3】 Simple clothes that fit shows exquisite taste in fashion - (says a woman in her 20s)

“The most casual clothes can make an ikemen look sharp as long as they fit right.” Here there is no set rule to go by. In fact, it is better not to cling to a certain way of dress. It also doesn’t do any good to put on airs of good taste. When going clothes shopping it is best for a ikemen to get the advice of friends and sales people to make sure he is getting well fit clothes.

【4】 Round eyes are too cute. More deep-set slender eyes are cool and give the image of sharp intelligence - (says a woman in her 30s)

“A sleepy-eyed look is also sexy and cool. Girls go for the sleepy droopy eyes these days. It would be good to go for that look.”

【5】 He can talk at great lengths about something he likes, a bit of a otaku, but usually a man of few words - (says a woman in her 20s)

For instance he gets excited when he talks about pro wrestling. It is cool if he has one thing that he is knowledgeable about. It is better than having a wide, deep well of knowledge that he loves to spout off about endlessly. With the exception of being too enamored by an idol or anime characters, the fact that he has something he is passionate about is attractive. The feudal period in Japanese history, or ’70s rock 'n' roll would be an example of acceptable subjects for him to be knowledgeable in.

【6】 His hair has that "just woke up look," and he makes it look cool – (says a woman in her 20s)

“Being able to get away with the messed up hair look is an added attraction for the ikemen.” It stimulates the motherly instincts in women. It is best if the hair is un-colored, the natural black. Just so it doesn’t look too heavy. It would be best to get this look through a cut at the beauty parlor.

【7】 He has slender wrists and fingers but he has a manly build - (says a woman in her 30s)

“The sharp cornered, strong-boned look is something that only men have. His slenderness may not bring out his manliness, but his bone structure does. His bone structure is what squeezes the girls’ hearts. Of course, in order for that to happen, they have to be able to see his bone structure. That means no excess fat. Ikemen cannot overeat.”

【8】 He has a sense of mystery about him - (says a woman in her 20s)

He looks relaxed with himself, not caring too much about what other people think. The sense of mystery comes from not really knowing what he is thinking at any given time. He goes about things in his own way and his own time. He should have a certain amount of boldness and self-confidence in order for him to pull this off.

【9】 He gives the impression of being a literary genius. His skin is so white that you can see the veins showing through - (says a woman in her 20s)

“He can even appear a bit of a weakling from all that indoor reading.” Rather than a muscular sportsman, today’s ikemen enjoy literature and music. The impression of a keen interest in the arts is a definite turn on. When he participates in outdoor activities he is wise enough to lather on the sun screen to keep away the ultra violet rays. This ikemen very well may wear black rimmed glasses.

Source: Livedoor.jp kinisoku

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78 Comments
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The dude they're describing here sounds like a vampire from those "breaking dawn" movies.

32 ( +36 / -4 )

Money. You forgot, money is what makes an ikemen hot.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Money certainly helps, but the confidence that money brings is far more useful. Still, it is entertaining to see how how "hotness" preferences change over the years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I wish all my fellow gaijin brothers the very best of luck in their quest to becoming an awesome ikemen in your neighbourhoods!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

"He looks relaxed with himself, not caring too much about what other people think.".

Problem is, these self-obsessed, walking hairdos, spend so much time preening, they DO care what other people think.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

No wonder I'm not popular with the ladies then.

More Downy, less sun and maybe I have a chance.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Gaijininfo,that was my first thought when I read this article- that guy must look like Edward. Twilight madness never ends.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Reading this stuff makes me happy I am married to a woman with better values and expectations than these fluffy media addled girls interviewed above.

It sounds like they are trying to shop for curtains not a person to be with. I don't see anything about what really matters.

Emotional maturity, compassion and responsibility. 2. Ability to earn a living and care for the economic needs of the family (no I don't mean rich, just sensibly employed.) 3. Devoted and loyal. 4. Intelligent in a meaningful way, not looking intelligent, actually smart and posessing common sense. 5. Humane and caring, someone who cares about family, community, society and the planet.

Now these are qualities that should matter. But hell, why not just focus on fluffy add company boys? Japanese girls are far too often as shallow as a piece of paper when it comes to what they view as attractive.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

In Japan, "looking more like a girl than most girls" seems to be attractive to women.

21 ( +23 / -3 )

Hmmmm.. From my "research", the type of guys on who are popular on TV look feminine, have that weird "Dragonball Z" hairstyle (loaded with gel and other "product"), are only interested in clothes and accessories, have almost nothing intelligent to say for themselves, probably are comfortable off and likely treat their girls badly.....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What a load. No wonder the "men" are too busy playing games and dressing up themselves. Expect the population rate to fall. My friends in Japan though have two to three children each. Japan, times are a chaaaanngin'

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Love #4: "It would be good to go for that look." Guess I'm going to have to undergo plastic surgery and then walk around with my eyes half-closed all the time in order to "go for it."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No wonder they have sleepy, droopy eyes (as described in No.4) they spend all night at the cabaret clubs and the rest of the time hanging around Don Quixote, stocking up on hair products.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He has slender wrists and fingers but he has a manly build

Now thats an oxymoron....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

1 A low voice

Still doesn't matter if he's just saying pointless things, like most of the metrosexual crowd here do...

2 The slight smell of fabric softener on his clothes

Clean clothes. A rarity for most Japanese men these days.

3 Simple clothes that fit shows exquisite taste in fashion

Clothes that fit = "exquisite taste in fashion"? I thought that, clothes that fit = an adult who can buy their own clothes.

4 Round eyes are too cute. More deep-set slender eyes are cool and give the image of sharp intelligence

I'm waiting to see the scientific data on eye shape and it's correlation to sharp intelligence.

5 He can talk at great lengths about something he likes, a bit of a otaku, but usually a man of few words

I wish women were the same. Instead they just yak on about everything.

6 His hair has that “just woke up look,” and he makes it look cool

No-one could ever make that look "cool", because it's not cool. It looks stupid. And annoying.

7 He has slender wrists and fingers but he has a manly build

I think the name you're looking for there is "malformed freak".

8 He has a sense of mystery about him

Until you get to know him and realize he's a vain pretentious w----r

9 He gives the impression of being a literary genius. His skin is so white that you can see the veins showing through

How do you give the "impression of being a literary genius"? And how is bad complexion a good thing?

“He can even appear a bit of a weakling from all that indoor reading.”

Reading comics probably, not real literature.

Rather than a muscular sportsman, today’s ikemen enjoy literature and music.

Or so they try to make people think. They probably only read rubbish books and listen to crap like Exile. Or even worse, the guys who pretend to like jazz.

The impression of a keen interest in the arts is a definite turn on.

And there we have it! Let's read it again and highlight the important words:

The impression of a keen interest in the arts is a definite turn on.

You just have to look the part. No real knowledge is needed.

When he participates in outdoor activities he is wise enough to lather on the sun screen to keep away the ultra violet rays.

Couple that with "His skin is so white that you can see the veins showing through". Yeah, because a tan looks so horrible compared to skin that looks like stilton cheese...

This ikemen very well may wear black rimmed glasses.

... because silly fashion magazines and even sillier tv shows say that "intelligent" looking men wear black rimmed glasses.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

@tkoind2 and similar posters: please keep in mind that when it comes to vapid, superficial and shallow men and women, no country can hold a candle to the good old US of A.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Ok.. good luck guys... but this fairy tale is much more respectful than the previous one concerning the feminine charm.. Unforgettable...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Considering the superficial and impossible image of girls that are seen as "the most desirable" - tiny waist, big boobs, big eyes, perfect skin, etc., this "ikemen" description is pretty tame. Still, though, I think the values of being in reasonably good shape, having reasonable conversation skills and reasonable fashion sense/body hygiene are not crazy, in the case of either men or women. On the other hand, it seems expectations become more and more unrealistic, and I think it's important to be grounded in reality when you're judging your preferred sex.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think the name you're looking for there is "malformed freak".

Probie, I take offense to that. I have very slender wrists and fingers. There's nothing I can do to change that, as that was the body I was born with. My wedding ring is a size 13, which is the same size as many western women. The rest of my body is naturally slender as well, but I hit the gym in university and bulked up around 10 kg. Now my chest size is about 100 cm and my waist is 76cm. I am what Japanese would call a "hoso-macho," slim but with muscles. I get compliments on my figure and by no means do I consider myself a "freak."

7 ( +9 / -2 )

He has slender wrists and fingers but he has a manly build

LOL

0 ( +4 / -4 )

tkoind2, I think you're missing the point. The article is about what makes an "ikemen" which basically means "good appearance." The things in the article all deal with appearance. You only mentioned things to do with personality.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Ben4Short : I thought so too until I started living in Japan. To be honest I have never seen anything as trendy or superficial as mainstream culture here. Far more than my experience in the US.

@ Bicultural. I didn't miss the point, I dismissed it. If you think about Japan's issues then this kind of shallow silly thinking is a big problem.

How many articles have we read about declining population? How many about messes up disfuncational relationships? How many about divorce, domestic violence, abuse etc... How many about the despair felt by lonely people?

All of these things are symptoms of a bigger problem, a society that can no longer differentiate real reality from marketed reality. The idealized persons that both sexes in Japan long for do not exist in real life. They are either plastic Akihabara toys or media generated idols. They are unobtainable and inviable even if they did exist.

So what happens? Women stop dating real men and go to host bars. Men idealize fluffy maids and school girls instead of idealizing intelligent capable women. So young people try to adapt to the media expectations and turn themselves into one dimensional characters at the mercy of endless successions of trends. No wonder self esteem and confidence are nearly non-existent here.

This kind of wishful fantacy does not serve the individual or the community. It is just silly nonsense.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

White enough to see veins is a sign of a junkie, so weak junkie vampire who just woke up and reading a book?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Let me just say this before you tear down what these Japanese girls think. You asks shallow person a question you will get a shallow response Ask a deep or intelligent person a question and you will get a deep or intelligent answer

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The measure is which do you see the most? In increasingly plastic media societies the din of shallow overcomes the soft sounds of reasonable and deep people. Fluff is easier to market and makes money, depth rarely sells these days. This is a sad reality for far oto much of the world. But Japan rather sets a high bar on submission to this kind of shallow thinking and in promoting it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The slight smell of fabric softener on his clothes "

this one!. I know a very attractive 30 something lady who always comments about the smell of fabric softener in my clothes! it's just Downy but it makes her dreamy. "Nioi fetch" shes says, as in the smell is alluring to her, like pheromones! I just wish we were both available to make the 'fetch' a 'catch' ;-)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I Don't want to brag, but this made me laugh. A girl said to me "Choo Ikemen".....But I couldn't see her face because as soon as she realised that I could understand her she hid behind a pole. The pole wasn't a thick pole. But still she was so shy she didn't want to come out from behind it. hahaha, that made my day. Way too shy.

In saying that, I have been told I was "ikemen" a lot of times, but you can never know if its just people being polite. So take as a grain of salt fellas, or at least I do. Otherwise you'll end up with a head the size beach ball.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

You asks shallow person a question you will get a shallow response

You ask a shallow question, you will get a shallow response.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

【 10 】 Burn yourself.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I expected the possession of brand name goods to crop up somewhere in this list. "A Louis Vuitton wallet with plenty of cash in it to buy me crap I don't need but which looks cute and pink"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I must admit that I agree with a few things from this list. I like my guys to be intellegent but not vein about it which doesn give them a mysertious feeling. I love to hear my husband talk about his passions at great length, even when I don't completely understand everything (motocycles). He does it in a way that he isn't showing off and takes his my interest and knowledge into account (I grew up with hot rods so know engine lingo to some extent). Fabric softner is a much nicer scent than some of the overbearing some men decide to shower themselves in. However, being pasty white, or having slim fingers doesn't really mean anything if the person is dull or brash.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Girls go for the sleepy droopy eyes these days. It would be good to go for that look.

I dont know how, but Ill try and go for that sleepy droopy eye look too!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No fat guy with a billion dollar company? Common!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

i am pale, way too pale, would love to be able to get a tan or healthy colour. Also makes one look more muscular. I really dont understand this popular girlyboy ikemen thing. Nothing wrong with being slightly effeminate but these dudes take it way too far; its not ikemen its emo. Nobody like an emo. Well.... noone with any taste.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SO glad I'm married to a woman I love. This running around trying to appear a certain way and manufacturing a faux personality is not my gig. The dudes constantly fixing their hair can keep those girls who are constantly in their pocket mirror. Not interested.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

Wonder what kind of airheads were asked these questions - with answers they gave they sure don,t deserve anything else than than these "desirable "droopy eyed, white skin sickly looking weaklings who give the impression they might be able to get to the end of a book and buy some simple clothes at Uniqlo once a while. Good luck with improving Japan,s birth rate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You forgot wears makeup and acts like a girl.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

money - my jwife tells me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"If I smell the slight smell of fabric softener when I approach him, it makes me blush."

This truly amazed me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Money certainly helps, but the confidence that money brings is far more useful.

Often times though money brings arrogance and not confidence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ok, we got 9 different views from 9 ladies.

Really a no-show article as it don't show a representation of the whole.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"If I smell the slight smell of fabric softener when I approach him, it makes me blush." This truly amazed me.

If only I had known this when I was 17, I would have carried a bottle of the stuff with me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“If I smell the slight smell of fabric softener when I approach him, it makes me blush.”

What.

For instance he gets excited when he talks about pro wrestling. It is cool if he has one thing that he is knowledgeable about. It is better than having a wide, deep well of knowledge that he loves to spout off about endlessly.

Wow. So being an imbecile makes a guy attractive? Okay.

His skin is so white that you can see the veins showing through

??????? Wow. Really?

Honestly they sound like a bunch of manga/anime stereotypes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'll agree with the low voice but everything else? No thanks.

The only reason why his clothes smells like fabric softener is because MOM washed his clothes!!

And indeed, we all know in Japan what makes men attractive is what is in their wallet.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Of course it's cash cash cash

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

His bone structure is what squeezes the girls’ hearts.

"Bone structure". Not muscularity, which takes effort but just "skin and bones" as the old expression goes. No wonder only like 3% of the Japanese population belongs to a gym, and most of those are women. The girls want guys who have no physique to speak of.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just be Japanese, be men. Not that difficult, isn't it? ; )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah Money! I've seen countless old Sugar Daddies in Japan w/ women that looked 1/2 their age, I wonder why? They did not fit the Ikemen type at all. ^o^ Anyhows I had my share of dating Japanese women and many of the Ikemen traits I don't have, such as white skin and over the top hair. My clothes did usually smell like a dryer sheet, pure coincidence though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think these ladies have been reading to much bishounen manga...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

slender wrists/fingers with a manly build? Bone Structure?

what nonsense!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ikeman huh? I seem to be able to do that without even trying. Just be yourself, and women either love it or hate it. But a woman that judges me on looks alone, I don't think I'd get along with her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But a woman that judges me on looks alone, I don't think I'd get along with her.

A woman judging me on looks alone would be out of there like Ursain Bolt!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To me... The list reminded me of 14-17 year olds... When the voice is dropping, body oder is sort of leveling off - so the fabric softener starts to stand out more. Ragged hair? Yeah, my almost 15 year old son rarely brushes his... It grows so fast that it stands like a peacock when cut. Slender hands? Teenage boy - with manly body? School time club? White skin? They are in school while the sun is up, of course they look like the vampire set croud? Plus they are too tired to run around, so they sit and do psp, ds3, manga and such. Subjects they talk about? Their only real activity of course. The rest is studies. Clothing? Well they have what ... 2-3 outfits since they are in uniforms all day snyway? Lol!!! These girls asked (even though it says 20,30 after their name... ) must really be jr high - high school age?? Right??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do just fine and I'm black. Every woman has their own preferences and some women have none. A women wit too many preferences is gonna end up lonely. Love is blind, I think.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Love is blind, I think.

And very picky too, apparently.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So in other words, one person likes one thing, another likes another, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Great.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

8

He looks relaxed with himself, not caring too much about what other people think. The sense of mystery comes from not really knowing what he is thinking at any given time. He goes about things in his own way and his own time. He should have a certain amount of boldness and self-confidence in order for him to pull this off

Self confidence is key. I know myself and my faults and what I want to improve on and since I know this I am confident in my choices and decisions. If you don't know yourself, then you're not going to do to well in the self-confidence area.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can't get "I wish i was queer so i could get chicks" out of my head now...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I so agree with the above, these ladies love their sparkling vampires lol.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He has to be running about as in duty bound with his back rejecting any kindness. Japanese women traditionally feel "moe (萌え)" with such a man.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

His hair has that just woke up look, and he makes it look cool (says a woman in her 20s)

I'm in my late 20's and totally bald, and my students call me ikeman. Even their cute pictures of me that they draw show me with hair (lol) so this is bs

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The list reminded me of 14-17 year olds...

Insert a comment about the maturity level around here...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Those dudes in the picture and that list? 100% icky men.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

1 "Nothing can be gained from an unclear low voice.”

Well said!

2, a lie. they don't want to smell "bounce" or some other fabric softner on you, they want to smell 3 day old sweat, and be overwhelmed by your feral masculine power. young girls might not know that yet, and get scared away, or think it is gross. but keep out of the shower and never wash your cloths- they will come around! 3, well, I'm out. I never go clothes shopping with others, as since age 7 I can tell when the clothes done't fit through the process I refer to as "trying clothes on", once in awhile backed up with the supplementary process of "looking in a mirror". 5 "you are allowed to have one thing to talk about, something I would never have any interest in nor knowledge about. you will never get in the way of me talking about things, and when I want to take a break, I will sit back and listen to you talk about feudal Japan or 70's rock and stare incredulously." (in a way kind of like being a gaijin). 6 and 9: been said, but vampires! 7 : Skeletor.

alread y been said but let us not forget:

The impression of a keen interest in the arts is a definite turn on.

posers are in!

JT!!! Keep these ridiculous articles coming! They are hilarious!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

??

only one word was supposed to be in bold... why?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In short, Ikemen equals Airheads. Lol

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ikemen?, Seem to be good looking to start with,maybe some make-up, then wear the same clothes as their girl friend's, and spend alot a time in the mirror, and more money on themselves than their girl friends. Dont think that's for me, I like Levi's and Wranglers, and the Great Outdoors, I think some women do too...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How bout being brash enough to break wind and belch without apologizing for it! Thats impressive!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Instead of bimbos for men we're getting menbows for women...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

...or should it be manbow?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm always surprised at how feminine the male actors and models seem to be in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nice hand writing was what my previous Japanese girlfriend liked about me...blush...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@y3chome. there's a big difference in my book between Emo and Ikemen. Just because one has style and knows how to wear it with confidence does not mean they're some goth tween with self-mutilation issues who paint their room black and put foil over the windows. >.> In the US, I'd rather see more Ikemen. Most of the men in the US don't know how to wear anything but a over-sized tshirt and trashy jeans and flip flops. Even if they do wear a suit, they wear it like their dad and look old-fashioned.. not even retro style or anything, just out of date and without proper fit. It looks bad. All of the above. I'd much rather have a man who knows how to care for himself and appreciates how to carry himself with confidence and make a better first impression by CARING what he looks like. Yes. CARING what you look like and what kind of impression you make on people is not the same as being vain and self-centered. Those are also two very different things.

After all, a girl can dress stylishly and do her hair nice and makeup and everything in 30 minutes and be presentable without being considered 'self centered'. Why do guys get labeled that way when they care what they look like? Dumb.

@Alex Einz Ever heard of the Blue Vein Society ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All these males in the comments sound really upset or offended, throwing insults out there, etc ... it's hilarious. xD And srsly, it's not like guys are any better when it comes to what they want in a girl.

Lastly, I must admit some of these I really do agree with; they are turn ons. But they definitely aren't the biggest factors I'm looking for in a guy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No offence, but you guys do realize this list is mainly for asian people, in this case japanese men. There's tons of guys who fit the above description without even trying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is part of of social ingineering made in Japan since 2011 in order to increase the natality. The cost is try to make men like women and women like men. Its really disgusting, but maybe they didnt have choice; women were waiting to marry men with high incomes and less of the half of men couldnt fill the expectatives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is sad to hear. "Whiter skin", "skin so white you can see the veins clearly"....that does not sound like the description of a healthy person. What's the big deal about the whiteness of your skin? Healthy skin with rich glowing tones is much more attractive than the color of the skin. So shallow. These perceptions are what influences people to do skin bleaching [which is extremely unhealthy]. I detest how our world functions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Blonde hair and blue eyes I heard that's what a lot of Japanese girls are into. If you're German to boot then your pretty much guaranteed a lot of love interests.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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