Ten Types of Men You’ll Meet in Japan

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A cartoon of the 10 types of men in Japan

Are you single this summer? Put down your phone for a day, forget about Tinder and go for a walk instead. I promise it will be just as fun as playing Pokémon Go! And while you’re out there, see if you can spot these ten types of men you might encounter dating in Japan. Go catch ‘em!

The Charao (Playboy)

The Charao Where to find him: Your favorite club in Roppongi or Shibuya.

How to recognize him:
Wears pointed leather shoes and deep V-necks. Expert at the smolder.

How to catch him: He’ll catch you. Don’t worry, by the time you see him, he’ll be halfway across the room.

What it’s like to date him: Fun, but short-lived. He’s a smooth talker, so save yourself the heartache and leave the next morning quietly. If you do meet again, don’t expect him to be boyfriend material.

The Yankii

2Where to find him: Our Yankii can usually be found in the Greater Tokyo Area. In summer, head to the beach in Chiba or Kanagawa, where you’ll find him working on his tan, showing off his tattoos and generally being loud and obnoxious with his friends.

How to recognize him: Sports a tan all year round, bleached hair, smells like trouble.

How to catch him: Parade around in your bikini to catch his attention or invite him for a drink at one of the beach huts.

What it’s like to date him: Very exciting and wild. Deep intellectual conversations might not be his forte, but he’ll make you laugh. Bonus points if he owns a motorcycle. Perfect for a summer romance.

3The Hipster

Where to find him: In the backstreets of Harajuku, having a single origin, drip coffee at the cool hangout of the moment.

How to recognize him: Wears glasses (but doesn’t need them), works for a startup or is planning to open his own hookah place.

How to catch him: Pretend to be cooler than he is. Take him to Earth Day Market in Yoyogi Park and enjoy a vegan picnic.

What it’s like to date him: You’ll have to have deep and meaningful conversations with him. Furnishing your new love nest won’t be solved by a single trip to Ikea — you’ll probably find yourself shopping for furniture a lot. Be prepared to spend an obscene amount of money on a coffee table.

4The Gym Head

Where to find him: Go for a run at your local gym.

How to recognize him: The Gym Head is easily recognizable by his impressive physique. Will often do bicep curls in front of the mirror. Go for the ones not wearing gloves — they are the real deal.

How to catch him: Pretend you don’t know how to use a machine or do some squats and ask him to correct your form.

What it’s like to date him: Who said Japanese men were not manly? The Gym Head will always be happy to flex his muscles. He will carry heavy things for you and open lids. If you’re not into fitness yourself, it could be hard to meet him as he will spend most of his free time at the gym. Yet, who could resist such a man?

5The Hairdresser

Where to find him: Since he works six days a week, you’ll find him at his job.

How to recognize him: Funky hairstyle, follows fashion trends and gives great head massages. He might look gay, but he’s not.

How to catch him:
Become his favorite client and invite him for drinks. Very important: only make a move if you think he is replaceable. Should the relationship turn sour, you really don’t want to find yourself without a hairdresser.

What it’s like to date him: He might only get Tuesdays off, but you’ll always have great hair.

6The Fashion Victim

Where to find him: In Harajuku, Omotesando or Shibuya.

How to recognize him: Wears red suede shoes, ankle pants and spends more time on his glossy locks than you do. He’ll also be carrying a man purse.

How to catch him: Take him out for brunch at this new Hawaiian pancake restaurant and wait for two hours in line.

What it’s like to date him: You’ll finally be dating a guy who likes shopping as much as you do. He will judge you if you buy your clothes at H&M or Forever 21. Don’t be surprised if he spends more than ¥30,000 on a pair of shoes.

7The Mama’s Boy

Where to find him: Everywhere (unfortunately).

How to recognize him: You’ll probably only realize he is one when you meet his mother. Early red flags include: still living at home in his thirties, cannot cook to save his life, spends most of his weekends with his family.

How to catch him: Cook him nice food and clean his apartment.

What it’s like to date him: As long as you’re just dating, everything will be fine. If you do decide to get married, make sure to move as far away from his parents as possible!

8The Starving Artist

Where to find him: A second-hand record store in Shimokitazawa.

How to recognize him: Wears vintage clothes, carries a guitar or sketchbook.

How to catch him: Compliment him on his art. Invite him to your photography exhibition or show him your drawings.

What it’s like to date him: He’ll be broke, so don’t expect fancy dinners and weekend getaways. If you’re not materialistic and like living simply, your starving artist could make a wonderful partner.

9The Geek

Where to find him: Akihabara, Comiket, your nearest Pokéstop.

How to recognize him: His eyes will be glued to his phone and he’ll be frantically throwing Pokéballs at you.

How to catch him: Wear a mini-skirt and act cute. Bonus points if you play Pokémon Go. Extra bonus points if you wear cat ears.

What it’s like to date him:
You’ll sometimes feel like you’re dating a man-child, especially if he’s collecting action figures. Unless you’re into the same hobbies, or don’t mind his Hatsune Miku pillow, it might be hard to think about a future together.

10The Salaryman

Where to find him: At your local izakaya on a Friday night.

How to recognize him: Wears a suit and drinks highballs.

How to catch him: Wait until he’s had a few drinks and invite him to play a game of darts or pretend you can’t read the menu and ask him for help.

What it’s like to date him: He’ll work long hours, but you’ll have great weekends together. If you’re looking for something long term, he’s your man. Don’t expect too much from his culinary experiments or domestic skills. If you cook him a nice dinner, he’ll fall in love with you.

Know any other types of guys out there on the Japanese dating scene? Share your wisdom below and watch this space for the female version!

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Intercultural explorer, matchmaking choreographer, dating in Tokyo since 2011.
  • samurairasta says:

    oh the horror… i thought i was most like #7 before i scrolled down to read the article… mama’s boy! and i can’t cook to save my life and my rented room is a mess… i think i’m gonna stop spending time with my fam for a while.. lol

  • Fmirshanti says:

    Wow, I think I found #10 ;*

  • I love all the illustrations with these types!

  • Tina says:

    Although this piece was probably written for fun, as a POC and someone married to a Japanese man, I find these kinds of articles really distasteful.

    • Ariane Yoshihiro-Storm says:

      Of course it was written for fun! 🙂 I am also married to a Japanese man, and of course he is a mix of some of them, just like all real people are. Don’t take it too seriously, it is only intended to put a smile on your face as you recognise (to some extent) yourself or someone you know. 🙂

    • R.R. says:

      I” curious to know why do you find it distasteful.

    • Tinasux says:

      So don’t read it hater!

  • frank says:

    Seems like women are spoiled for choice here. 10 options?! Whereas us men have essentially two, maybe three, different ‘types’ of women to choose from. The cute, kawaii, innocent type. The girlu “badass” type. And perhaps the best, I want to just get married, have kids, never work again, and then complain about my husband type.

  • Daniyal Siddiqui says:

    same types everywhere you live.

  • Queenash says:

    Been living here for months and I only know one type: Beta.

  • Tania says:

    I think my two favorites are the Mama’s boy and Salary man. Next would be artist.
    Im A simple person but love to cook, clean and spend time with family. So yeah.

  • 餅ちゃん says:

    Wow, none of these are really good dating material, although I would like a Charao or Yankii for a bit of time, seems like fun.

    • R.R. says:

      Hmm tbqh, from what I see, there are certainly sub-categories and hybrid categories, rarely have I met someone who fits in just one category.

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