If you are familiar with the Japanese scene, then you might have heard of the words “ikemen” and “ikedan.” If you have no idea what any of these terms mean, don’t worry! We’ll tackle them in this article.
Both of these Japanese words are used to describe certain types of men. “Ikemen” has been a popular term for quite some time now, while “ikedan” gained popularity only in the recent years. Both are popular references used for ideal men, although the latter may not be as known as the former outside of Japan.
“Ikemen” basically refers to metrosexuals and the term has been frequently used in Japan since the year 2000. It is derived from two Japanese words: “ikeru” or “iketeru” and “menzu.” “Ikeru” or “iketeru” stands for “cool,” “good,” or “exciting,” while “menzu” stands for “men.” Hence, “ikemen” refers to hot or good-looking men. This term is very popular in Japanese pop culture so you might have already seen it being used in anime, manga, or Japanese songs.
The common portrayal of ikemen is that of a smartly dressed man with slanted eyes and a refined appearance. Rounded eyes are considered too cute, while slanted eyes make a man look more mature and intelligent. Ikemen have slender wrists and fingers but have a manly build with a low voice. They also have pale skin and a calm and composed disposition with an air of mystery. Cleanliness is also a main key point of ikemen.
Ikemen, however, should not be mistaken with bishounen. “Bishounen” refers to pretty men, while ikemen are more masculine and good looking (although they may still be seen as feminine in the West).
Bodybuilding has been a popular pastime among people regardless of gender for decades. However, it has started to become more and more popular in Japan in recent years. It is now not uncommon to see groups of bodybuilders hanging out at the Tokyo Disney Resort while still wearing the adorable merchandise sold there.
Something that has also changed in terms of aesthetics is that bodybuilders tend to get tanned (whether naturally, or with tanning beds and sprays) for competitions, diverting from the ideal look of “ikemen”.
The power of “ikemen” and “ikedan” has meant that bodybuilders are still not featured as prominently in media, though at times the group has been slowly incorporated into the “ikemen” category.
Now that you understand what “ikemen” means, you will easily understand what “ikedan” is. A combination of the words “ikeru” or “iketeru” and “danna” meaning “husband,” “ikedan” refers to a hot or good-looking husband.
But wait! That is not all there is to ikedan. More than just being a hot husband, an ikedan is also the kind of man who would help out with household chores in addition to working outside and earning money. Examples of household chores include cleaning, cooking, taking the children to play outside, etc. Ikedan is basically the type of husband who values his wife and children.
Certainly, these are traits that women find very appealing and sexy in men! A responsible, caring man who is also good looking? That definitely makes the ideal husband, ikedan!
The term “ikedan” was originally coined by Japanese women’s magazine “VERY,” which is published by Kobunsha. There is even a Japan Ikedan Association (Japanese only)!
Even though “ikedan” are considered ideal men, there are also some ridiculous criticisms due to the idea that someone who focuses there time to work and house chores does not have time for anything else; showcasing how gender roles and stereotypes continue to affect the perception of what someone is supposed to be like.