I think I'm on the next list...

Good morning everyone,

Today is going to be the coolest day of the week-it'll get up to around 23C-while the rest of the week will see highs in the mid-20s. They're not calling for rain anytime soon, but it's looking pretty grey for the next few days. We may see a little sun every now and then, but skies will be mostly cloudy.

As a rich, colorful language, Japanese abounds in phrases to describe differing physiques. In the past, we’ve looked at descriptors for breast sizes and examined the difference between being pocchari/plump and himan/obese.

With the sultry days of summer swiftly approaching, Japan’s seashores will soon be full of shirtless men, and seeing as I usually only focus on women (sorry, that's just the way I am) I found this photo collage dividing men into one of five groups.

Here's the list broken down into the five groups...

● garigari / ガリガリ

Here we’ve got the garigari, or “skinny” group. While garigari can be used as a pejorative, with a connotation similar to “scrawny,” some online commenters said that they had a special fondness for men with this slenderest of builds.

● shimatteru / 締まってる

Shimatteru comes from shimaru, a Japanese word meaning to compact, and by extension to make firm. As such, the shimatteru build is a toned one, in which a lack of fat causes the taut muscles underneath to stand out, even if they aren’t necessarily bulging.


● hosomacho / 細マッチョ

In Japanese, “macho” refers more to an abundance of muscle mass than masculine personality traits. Combine that with a truncated version of hosoi, meaning thin or narrow, and you get hosomaccho, a muscularly slender body type.


● macho / マッチョ

Get rid of the hoso qualifier, and now you’ve just got macho, Japan’s preferred equivalent for English’s “buff” or “ripped.”

● gorimacho / ゴリマチョ

Finally, the chart tops out at gorimacho. A combination of “gorilla” and “macho,” this apex of oversized musculature is a relatively new addition to the Japanese lexicon, and so not readily understood by even all native speakers. However, if you’re looking for a Japanese version of “yoked” or “jacked,” this is a good candidate, provided your audience is up-to-date on its slang.

Conspicuously absent from this list are any photographic or linguistic examples of non-muscular men with high body fat percentages. Perhaps such a discussion is coming in a future chart, but in the meantime, I think I'm going to go hit the gym...Ha ha!

Which do you prefer?

Have a great day!


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