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Veggie Boys vs. Carnivore Men

“Cool? Cute? Sexy? Macho? Whatever you want to be, boys have to have clean face.” This VegeBoy face wash comes with its own boyish hairband, to keep the carefully groomed tresses dry during use!

I guess it was inevitable: the species of Japanese males who have come to be known as “grass-eating men” (sōshoku danshi) now have their own beauty brand: VegeBoy! Guys who obsess about every little facial imperfection can now chase pulchritude without furtively buying any pastel packaged products! The VegeBoy line includes everything from facial masks to eye cream, and is sold in mainstream beauty departments in places like Shibuya Loft.

I’m not sure I buy some of the conclusions of the study that brought “Herbivore Men” into the spotlight (that they aren’t interested in women, for example – don’t get me started on how the economy in Japan has been disrupting normal patterns of dating, marriage and childbearing for a generation now <SNORE>) but the emergence of a brand that proudly trumpets “vegetarian man” shows how a label that started out being something of an insult has now been embraced and turned into a uniquely Japanese subculture.

Of course, Carnivore Men still exist, in numbers great enough to support beauty brands of their own. For example, how’s a man to keep his mohawk stiff if he runs out of…

Get your mind out of the gutter! It’s hair wax!

If you’d like to visit the Loft store in Shibuya the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more


Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “Veggie Boys vs. Carnivore Men Leave a comment

  1. Wouldn’t you LOVE to’ve been in the product-strategizing session that produced “Cock Grease”? The graphic makes it all too perfect a product name.

    • The hilarious thing is, I’m quite sure that the product namers knew exactly what they were doing (check out the additional sales points on the lid!) but Japanese customers don’t necessarily get the joke, even if they’re good at English. If “cock” was ever on a high school English test here, you can be sure that the correct definition was “rooster.”

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