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.
- Hikikomori (Wikipedia)
- ‘Japan: The Missing Million’ (BBC News)
- ‘Japan’s Lost Generation’ (TIMEasia)
- ‘Hikikomori violence’ (BBC News)
- ‘Shutting Themselves In’ (NY Times)
- ‘Japan’s secret epidemic’ (Aljazeera)