Tuesday, June 7, 2011

on hair and masculinity

My graduate students have been teaching me some of the latest slang. In case you find yourself in Japan, these will come in handy.

On hair.
I have learned that the Japanese word for "comb-over" is the much more amusing "bar code." Seen any lately?

And if you've ever studied the members of the pop rock group AKB-48 (and who hasn't?) you might notice the careful sectioning of their bangs. I've learned this is usually called 7-3, as in "70%-30%" sectioning. Some crazy girls go for 8-2 or even 9-1.

On men.
Lately many young Japanese men are playing the "herbivore" role--they are called sōshoku-kei. They have feminine features, thin shoulders, dress kind of fem, and are very passive daters. Women seem to like that kind of guy here.

Then there are the more carnivorous men, who are more traditionally masculine. They're called nikushoku-kei. These slang are widely known.

So....which one is Darrin?

Wait: Before you decide--there are now two additional categories!
Kabbyatsu roru, or cabbage roll guys--you guessed it: they look like soshoku kei on the outside, but on the inside they are nikushoku-kei.

And then there's Aspara-niku-maki. You know, that asparagus wrapped in prosciutto appetizer. You can guess what this means, right?

So now which one is Darrin?


  1. Umm, as Darrin's sister, I believe I must abstain from a vote. ;-)

  2. darrin's in a whole other category! don't know why i'm even commenting, since i don't know him well. but i hold him up on a pedestal in a category all his own!

  3. Darrin doesn't need fancy complicated names to be totally DARRIN! I think all those names are really for wimpy guys. Here's to Darrin - no slang needed.

    (Comment made by his MIL who knows of only one guy who'd travel to Japan w/a wife & 3 kids in tow for a year!) He's the best!!

  4. Darrin is a solid nikushoku-kei, and a vertical 99-1

  5. I'm not sure what Darrin is, but I can't wait to use the term "bar code." It's brilliant. BRILLIANT!