By Dominic Carter
Walking up and down the streets of Shibuya on a Saturday afternoon, Yuuji Morimoto was surprised at what he saw. Things seemed quite different to the way they were 5 years ago when he left Japan to attend university in the United States. Everywhere he looked, there were an increasing number of men wearing clothes normally seen on women, standing outside with mirrors fixing their hair, walking with heads down and headphones blaring as they let their PSPs drown out the reality around them, and sitting alone in café’s reading novels while sipping lattes. What was this new phenomenon, he asked a friend later. It was then that he was told of the recent increase of soushoku danshi, or “grass eating boys” in Japanese society. But where have all the big money-spending, sake drinking, secretary chasing carnivores of the bubble era gone, and who are these replacements?
By Debbie Howard
Japan may be a long way from the 24-hour drive-through pharmacies that one sees in the U.S., but a recent flurry of activity to create “new types of drugstores” shows that innovation is alive and well.