Host’s Wife, on Fuji TV

Host's Wife, on Fuji TV

Fuji TV is airing a 2 hour drama called the Host’s Wife (ホストの女房) tonight at 9 pm. I want to see it, but the description, per the Japan Times, sounds kind of tired.

This Friday, Fuji TV presents an original two-hour drama, “Host no Nyobo” (The Host’s Wife, 9 p.m.), which is supposedly based on a true story.

Akemi (Hitomi Kuroki) is the rich and pampered daughter of a prominent Tokyo architect, and in line with her station she is married to an elite executive. Her life seems set.

One day, she goes to a host club in the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo with a few of her female friends, mainly as a joke. There, she meets Aida (Susumu Terajima), who is the club’s No. 1 host. Though hosts may play favorites with valued customers, they aren’t necessarily supposed to become romantically involved with them, but Akemi and Aida are immediately attracted to each other.

The relationship sparks rumors that get back to Akemi’s parents, who disapprove strongly. She becomes even more determined to abandon everything, including her inheritance, and run away with Aida. In the meantime, Aida, who grew up poor, is becoming the king of Kabukicho.

Isn’t Terajima a bit old to be the No. 1 host in Kabukicho? Is anyone going to watch this?

Update: Because Japan Times online site runs old news, I made the mistake of thinking the show was on tonight, when it aired last week. Did anyone watch it?

Soshokukei: Men are now “Herbivores”

Soshokukei, herbivores & girly men in Japan

“Many of the boys I’ve met told me they cannot go out of their house if their hair doesn’t look perfect,” she said. “They have also told me that their self-esteem goes up when their nails look nice.” -Quoting Ushikubo Megumi who invented this new term”soshokukei” (草食男子) or “herbivores” to describe the new generation of men, 20-34.

What a happy day to read a Japan Times article that 60% of young men today can be classifed as “herbivores.” Also called “ojo-man” (lady-like men), this term seems to share many characteristics with the term “otomen” introduced by my online moe sensei Bangin.

Bangin does a great job contrasting the two terms in this recent post, and attributing soshokukei to the recently disgraced SMAP member  Kusanagi Tsuyoshi who got drunk and then arrested for public nudity last month.

What makes the Japan Times article so delicious is how they trace this new attitude to the post-bubble gloom generation and highlight extremely unmanly, dare I say “gay” behaviors. The article, of course, goes on to quote a sociologist who claims these girly men are “not gay”:  herbivores are “searching for heterosexual love while turning unisex.” Haha.

So here goes the definitions:

  • They are not as competitively minded about their jobs as men in older generations.
  • They are fashion conscious and eat sparingly so they can stay thin and fit into skintight clothes.
  • They are chummy with their moms and often go shopping together.
  • They are not interested in dating girls, having relationships, or even having sex (choosing from a plethora of “self-help” toys instead).

I love how this new trend is also tied to the internet: Apparently these herbivores do not want to reproduce because they are “too physically tired to have sex, let alone start a family.” Supposedly, they are substituting sex with women with internet porn and “do-it-yourself” gadgets! A supporting quant stat is that condom shipments have been falling since 1999, the start of the internet revolution.

I am surprised that this focus on men’s hair and nails overlooks their incredibly tortured eye-brows. Ah, Japan and your girly men, WE LOVE YOU!