イクメン[ikumen]

September 20, 2009 at 5:22 am (Blogroll, general, slang)

アットホームダッド For anime fans, it is crucial that any male characters are all good-looking, that is, you can say イケメン[ikemen] to mean a handsome man. But how can you imagine such a handsome guy is taking care of his child? Since I dwell on 2D[2次元], I can’t even think of being something like this. However, I would like to introduce this term which has been a big social interest, イクメン[ikumen].

 Apparently, this stems from イケメン[ikemen] though I don’t know who came up with. It is usually written in katakana, but I might write it as 育男 in kanji. [iku] stands for raising, and [men] means a man. Please know 男 can’t be officially read as men. Only in a trendy way, it could be allowed to read like that.

 To get to the point, イクメン means a man who is engaged in raising a child. If necessary, he could take a child-care leave. I have no idea how this sounds out of Japan, however, it seems to have been odd that men take a child-care leave. Even though the law allows men to take it, most men are not willing to do so for some reason; there would be no salary during a child-care leave(or else, possibly pay cuts). Besides, they might be worried about what would happen to their own career or colleagues. For example, while he is away, someone else has to do his work. Also he would be concerned about after he is back to the company.

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 How many of working men are actually ikumen? Yet it is only 1 or 2%. Having said that, actually more than 30 to 40% of them want to take a child-care leave because they know child-raising is very hard, and want to help their wives. But above reasons make it difficult to be an ikumen. What about in your country?

 By the way, how do women feel about ikumen? I just quickly investigated, and most of them would think it is a good thing, or ikumen is cool. I read an article about an ikumen got a lot of chocolates from the female colleagues on Valentine Day after a child-care leave. In the olden days, things used to be like fathers have to work while mothers are at home. But such is over, I feel women are even getting stronger. I have already explained 草食男子[soushoku danshi], however, there is a totally opposite of it, 肉食女子[nikushoku joshi]. That is to say, a very active and aggressive women in career or…even love. 

 The above image is from the TV drama series, アットホーム・ダッド[Stay-at-home Dad] which follows a 37-year-old who has become an ikumen because of a certain reason. He used to be a director for commercial advertisements, but all of a sudden he got fired. His wife is back to the company she used to work for so he has to be at home in order to take care of his girl. This drama is high-rated so it has been re-aired so many times. Because of this drama, a word 主夫[shufu, house husband] spread out.

 I don’t mind if I become a 主夫 at all because I would be able to stay at home. And I am good at any chores, but child-raising…oh no, I have no confidence. っつうかその前に子供いないから分かんない(笑) So I found the best way for me.

きみはペット

 This is a shoujo manga, きみはペット[You are my pet] which follows a 27-year-old woman who is a powerful business woman. She is well-educated, and capable of doing anything at a company. But she breaks up with her boyfriend because she is too great. One day, she finds a young boy(Momo) in a cardboard box like a stray dog in front of her home. She decides to pick him up as a pet.

 Yes! This is it! Pets don’t have to do anything, right? I don’t mind being a pet at all. But I promise I will make food, clean up, or do other chores for you. Please make sure you feed me, okay? ちゃんとエサはちょうだいね^^So young lady, why don’t you have me? こんなペットはいかが? (笑)

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20 Comments

  1. tokyo moe said,

    I love this slang! Although so few Japanese are having children, those who do are so young. I am often startled at how young these fathers are when I see them in the street walking their kids. Somehow, I find that their caring for small children makes the young dads sexier. Is it bad for an ojisan to oggle the young dads?

  2. bangin said,

    A friend of mine became a dad at the age of 21, and he is an ikumen although he doesn’t look like a father!
    I try to think how happy a father is, but always makes me think how painful and tiring child-raise is. It’s not bad, I am already startled to see young dads.

    Ikumen is not necessary a young dad. Any men can be.

  3. tokyo moe said,

    Bangin, do you or your readers think having a child makes a man sexier? I don’t mean in terms of practical considerations (dating a father is more difficult, no?), but just in terms of sex appeal.

  4. bangin said,

    Well, men wouldn’t change even if they become a father whereas it would be tough for women to keep the beauty after the delivery. I have seen some cerebrities who became fathers like Oshio, but they seem to be father-like rather than sexy.

    I would like to hear from others!

  5. Hinano said,

    Ahhh I Loved kimi wa petto!! I read the manga and watched the drama ❤

    • bangin said,

      I want to be like Momo!

  6. goodyfun said,

    In that manga (I’ve seen it before), the woman is still very young. But I get big cougar vibes from her (Cougar is slang for an attractive, older woman in about her forties who dates younger guys.).

    • bangin said,

      I like a woman like her.

  7. mochie said,

    Haha I quite like Ikumen. Just means I have less housework to do. XD

    I watched the Kimi wa Petto live action before with matsujun in there. Quite a lovely story.

    • bangin said,

      Yep, Matsujun acted Momo. Can I put myself into a cardboard box to wait for someone picking me up?

  8. usagijen said,

    An ikumen would be real sweet! I’d associate ikumen with being thoughtful and sensible, and being the ideal family man. Makes for a warm and loving family~ 🙂

    That said, it’d be great to find a guy who’s an ikumen + ikemen hybrid 😛

    • bangin said,

      Ikumen + ikemen = nothing to complain!

      Oh as I thought, ikumen is nice for women!

  9. Taiyaki said,

    I totally just saw an ikumen+ikemen in the shopping mall, taking care of his child. They almost looked like older brother/younger brother. 😀

  10. bangin said,

    In real life, we don’t have many chances to see an ikumen + ikemen, but even in anime, I don’t think of such an ikumen. Wait, Nagisa’s father in CLANNAD could be, or else Kirepapa(do you know this?) must be.

  11. az said,

    It would be very convenient becoming a pet. wwww

    • bangin said,

      But don’t chain me!

  12. Irene said,

    I might go dl this movie since I adore Shinohara Ryoko in Anego.

    OT, how do you categorize a woman who’s neither shosoku or nikushoku?

    • bangin said,

      I love Ryoko in Haken no hinkaku.

      Umm…soshoku does not go to women, but men. Most women can be categorzed as nikushoku or not.

  13. rzncu said,

    I read kimi wa petto due to this entry, because normally I don’t read as much manga for non-bl relationships. I think I liked kimi wa petto before they started romantic relationship… it was better and more interesting when they were master and pet~

    ikumen is perfect for girls who are not good at cooking ^^;;;

  14. Ikumen « Pooja Sardeshmukh's Blog said,

    […]  As Japan announces its first ‘child rearing allowance’ of JPY 13,000 this month, the market is full of specifici ‘Ikumen’ clothing such as T-shirts with stories full of fun in raising a child etc.  T-shirt maker who collected 140 episodes of how exciting it is to bring your child up, printed them on white Tshirts and is selling them in a big way. It seems it is interesting for men to read episodes of other men rearing children.   In addition to mother-child diary, there is a also a papa diary. Where they want to keep the record how they brought up their child, right from first sonography photo. This they are planning to give as a gift to the child on the Coming of age day (seijin no hi)   Announcer was saying that in Japan it may be good to call fathers’ day as Ikumen’s day   https://bangin.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AF%E3%83%A1%E3%83%B3ikumen/ […]

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