Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Metrosexual in Japan

It seems that the term "metrosexual" has now become a buzz word among fashion-conscious young men in Japan.

Yuri-san, who has just arrived in London from Japan, bought me a men's hair catalogue from Japan. I've already said this quite a few times in this blog, but there is such a thing as men's hair catalogue books in Japan, targeted at fashion-conscious young men. (I still haven't seen this in London. Do you?)

The term metrosexual appears on this catalogue. This is the first time I saw this word in Japanese media. It reads, "Metrosexual is an urban celeb pursuing cool-ness not just personality-wise but also appearance-wise."

Okay, now I need to explain another buzz word "celeb" in the Japanese language. It doesn't mean someone famous. Nobody seems to know its real meaning, but it seems to refer to people whose life style is like the one of pop stars, super-rich, and upper-class people. It's been a couple of years since this term was imported into the Japanese language.
I google "metrosexual" in Japanese, and the number of hits is about 122,000.

As far as I understand, the phrase "metrosexual" here in UK refers to a man who uses moisturiser. :-) David Beckam represents all the metrosexuals in UK.

Anyway, what's interesting to me is that the idea that a man takes care of his appearance is nothing new in Japan. It's already been a decade since young Japanese men became appearance-conscious. I believe it was much earlier than here in UK. Then the term metrosexual is now imported to symbolize such men. Maybe those fashion-conscious teenage boys a decade ago are now in the position of creating trend words. They wanted to give a name to themselves to be distinct from the rest of Japanese men. Then they found the term metrosexual in English. Maybe. Maybe not.

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