What is an ikemen?
An ikemen is a good-looking man. Ikemen is a new word which appeared around the year 2000. It comes from Japanese ikeru, iketeru, “cool”, “good”, “exciting” and either men (メン), from English “men” or “men’s” (menzu), or men (面) “face”. See What are contracted words like rimokon? for more about Japanese contracted words.
Another version of the word, ikemen (逝け面), has gained popularity on the internet to mean exactly the opposite, a very ugly man. However, this is not used much in normal conversation.
In a fit of punning, a ramen restaurant called “ikemen”, which uses a kanji pronounced men but meaning “noodles”, 麺, has also sprung up.
Looking at the picture at left, you’d think good-looking Japanese guys were a dime a dozen. Maybe so, at least in popular Japanese or Korean TV dramas featuring “ikemen,” or hot guys.
But what makes an ikemen? The ones that Japanese girls drool over have a specific look, and obviously, every man can’t fit “the type.” But just giving the impression of being ikemen is ever so important for young Japanese women these days, and you may be surprised that it’s possible to fit the image regardless of looks.
Below are nine ikemen characteristics that Japanese women find attractive. They could be considered as tips, and if you are willing to comply with them, they might bring your closer to reaching ikemen zen. And even if you’re not looking to be the next Shun Oguri, it’s at least interesting to know what turns on young Japanese women these days.
1.A low voice – (says a teenage girl)
“A low voice sounds mature, so that even if his face isn’t my type, his voice can start my heart racing. A low voice is sexy, definitely attractive, but if you are trying out a new low voice, make sure it is clear. Nothing can be gained from an unclear low voice.”
2.The slight smell of fabric softener on his clothes
“If I smell the slight smell of fabric softener when I approach him, it makes me blush.” The smell of fabric softener gives the impression of cleanliness, which is very important in a ikemen. Maybe because of this, many young men use fabric softener these days. Heavy cologne is not necessary, the slight fragrance of a body soap, shampoo, or fabric softener is enough to draw the attention of young women today.
3.Simple clothes that fit shows exquisite taste in fashion
“The most casual clothes can make an ikemen look sharp as long as they fit right.” Here there is no set rule to go by. In fact, it is better not to cling to a certain way of dress. It also doesn’t do any good to put on airs of good taste. When going clothes shopping it is best for a ikemen to get the advice of friends and sales people to make sure he is getting well fit clothes.
4.Round eyes are too cute. More deep-set slender eyes are cool and give the image of sharp intelligence
“A sleepy-eyed look is also sexy and cool. Girls go for the sleepy droopy eyes these days. It would be good to go for that look.”
5.He can talk at great lengths about something he likes, a bit of a otaku, but usually a man of few words
For instance he gets excited when he talks about pro wrestling. It is cool if he has one thing that he is knowledgeable about. It is better than having a wide, deep well of knowledge that he loves to spout off about endlessly. With the exception of being too enamored by an idol or anime characters, the fact that he has something he is passionate about is attractive. The feudal period in Japanese history, or ’70s rock ‘n’ roll would be an example of acceptable subjects for him to be knowledgeable in.
6.His hair has that “just woke up look,” and he makes it look cool
“Being able to get away with the messed up hair look is an added attraction for the ikemen.” It stimulates the motherly instincts in women. It is best if the hair is un-colored, the natural black. Just so it doesn’t look too heavy. It would be best to get this look through a cut at the beauty parlor.
7.He has slender wrists and fingers but he has a manly build
“The sharp cornered, strong-boned look is something that only men have. His slenderness may not bring out his manliness, but his bone structure does. His bone structure is what squeezes the girls’ hearts. Of course, in order for that to happen, they have to be able to see his bone structure. That means no excess fat. Ikemen cannot overeat.”
8.He has a sense of mystery about him
He looks relaxed with himself, not caring too much about what other people think. The sense of mystery comes from not really knowing what he is thinking at any given time. He goes about things in his own way and his own time. He should have a certain amount of boldness and self-confidence in order for him to pull this off.
9. He gives the impression of being a literary genius. His skin is so white that you can see the veins showing through
“He can even appear a bit of a weakling from all that indoor reading.” Rather than a muscular sportsman, today’s ikemen enjoy literature and music. The impression of a keen interest in the arts is a definite turn on. When he participates in outdoor activities he is wise enough to lather on the sun screen to keep away the ultra violet rays. This ikemen very well may wear black rimmed glasses.
10. Give your point –