Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Hikikomori (Reclusive shut-ins)

Hikikomori are young people (estimated at 1 million) who withdraw from society completely, shutting themselves in their rooms and refusing to venture outside at all.

Japanese culture has traditionally glamorized solitude, and many young people find the pressure of academic and social expectations too much to cope with.

Japanese families are much more willing to financially support their children, but less willing to shake them back into reality.

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4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Earl H. Kinmonth

    The figure of 1 million hikikomori was made up by a publicity seeking shrink. It has no basis whatsoever in fact.


  2. Nanashisan

    Publicity-seeking shrink. xD Although I’ve heard that it was to call attention to the seriousness of the matter, not Saitou-sensei himself, that figure was definitely made up; he admitted it in his biography. He said it was based on the number of schizophrenics in Japan.

    Anyway, those articles are ridiculously biased. Of course there are plenty who are as described, by far most hikikomori leave their houses every so often, if not on a regular basis. They just don’t do anything social, although they can online; 2-channel is milling with them.

  3. I think Welcome to the NHK and Zetsubou Sensei are anime which have given a refreshing perspective on the Hikikomori.

  4. SAK

    To say reality is inaccurate. Rather a different part of reality or a more real reality.

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