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They are young, earn little and spend little, and take a keen interest in fashion and personal appearance -- meet the "herbivore men" of Japan.
"In Japan, sex is translated as 'relationship in flesh,'" she said, "so I named those boys 'herbivorous boys' since they are not interested in flesh." Typically, "herbivore men" are in their 20s and 30s, and believe that friendship without sex can exist between men and women, Fukasawa said. The term has become a buzzword in Japan. Many people in Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood were familiar with "herbivore men" -- and had opinions about them.
Midori Saida, a 24-year-old woman sporting oversized aviators and her dyed brown hair in long ringlets, said "herbivore men" were "flaky and weak." "We like manly men," she said. "We are not interested in those boys -- at all." Takahito Kaji, 21, said he has been told he is "totally herbivorous." "Herbivorous boys are fragile, do not have a stocky body -- skinny."
Older generations of Japanese men are not happy about the changes. At a bar frequented by businessmen after work, one man said: "You need to be carnivorous when you make decisions in your life. You should be proactive, not passive." Fukasawa said the group does not care so much about making money -- a quality tied to the fact that there are fewer jobs available during the current global economic recession.