From ‘carnivore’ to ‘herbivore’: 5+ types of men you’ll meet in Japan

By Hilary Keyes

Though I’ve covered the eight types of men found on dating sites before, it’s time to head offline to discover an even wider spectrum of guys you might encounter in the Japanese dating landscape. Typical for Japan, these types of men have been labeled under some kind of category over the years depending on their characteristics. In this article, I take a look at those trends, introducing the five most common types of men (and their sub-trends) you’re likely to meet in Japan. Know the signs before it’s too late!

1. Nikushoku-kei: The “Hunter”


Nikushoku-kei danshi (肉食系男子) or “carnivore man,” is a term which became popular quite a few years ago and refers to a man who is traditionally “masculine” in nature, one that is a flirt, sexually driven, very confident, and a “hunter” by nature. He usually has quite the experience with the ladies and knows how to sweet talk someone. But he is also considered likely to cheat and to possibly be emotionally unavailable and unable to have a steady or serious relationship.

Within this type, you’re likely to meet guys that consider themselves to be Gasshiri-kei (がっしり系, well-muscled or stocky body types), or Hosomacho-kei (細マッチョ, thin but well-muscled body types), and many men who work in high powered, aggressive fields such as construction, sales, and PR for example, who count themselves as Nikushoku men.

They can be fun to date, and not all of them are cheaters, but because they tend to work in very driven industries, you might not get to see them that often. So if you’re looking for someone to see on a regular basis, you might want to steer clear of Nikushoku-kei men. 

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The second from the left appears to be the token gaijin

0 ( +0 / -0 )

like in the western world this goes to show that men are loosing masculinity and becoming wet fish.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What a load of rubbish.

Throwing things into nice neat little boxes would seem to be a Japanese national pastime.

4 ( +5 / -1 )


It’s hardly a Japanese thing. You can see this type of “listicle” all over the net.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have been going to Golds Gym for the last 15 years and even I have yet to meet this large initial group of “well muscled” carnivorous men. Its only jocks that are like that here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

like in the western world this goes to show that men are loosing masculinity and becoming wet fish.

And a lot are 'loosing' their ability to spell.

Let's get one thing straight - whether they are herbivores or carnivores, they all eat meat. Look, if you want to call them shy, sissy, skinny, useless, nerdy, then go right ahead. But they're not vegetarian. A gorilla? Now THAT'S a herbivore.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great commment by someone at the bottom of the actual article,

"38 million people in Kanto. Roughly half male. Five types. Yup. Pigeonholing people into boxes. This is one aspect of Japan that is irritating.

This notion that the vast diversity of people can be somehow summarized and defined. This is a part of why people are lonely. This expectation that everyone fits into a neat category or can somehow live up to the expectations and limitations of that catefory.

It fails to account for individuality which exists in Japan just like it does anywhere else. I have met countless men and women in Tokyo over the 17yrs I have been here and would be hard pressed to fit the men into these silly pop categories. They are human beings with complex personalities, experiences, dreams, careers and ideas about the world.

These categories, when combined with all the other social expectations then we end up with men and women alike having expectations of each other that are just not real. If we go into meeting people with a completely open mind of who they are, and spend our effort discovering that individal , then that is when we may find love and happiness.

If we just put everyone in a tiny silly box, few will genuinely live up to this nonsense and fulfill the magazine inspired dos and don'ts of being a man or woman.

I would love, for once, to see articles that are truly helpful. Teaching men and women to see each other as complext and fascinating individuals. Seeing past the material points, the fashion points, the vacuous personality definitions and the stensil sets of expectations to see real human beings across the date dinner table.

He or she may not tick all the magazine boxes that you have been told to expect. But he or she, in that person's individual quirkiness may well be the person who will make your life the very fairytale romance you dream of.

I was never the cookie cutter foreign guy on any level. Nor was my wife the cookie cutter Japanese girl. We were both oddballs with our own path and our own way. But when we took time to get to know each other, really see each other for who we really are, we found we could become a family and be profoundly happy together.

I hope people ignore these silly articles and try seeing that girl or guy for who they really are. Leave the expectations at the door and experience another human being as he or she really exists in reality. And you know what? You might just fall in love with the quirks first"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm the eat, drink and be merry type....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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