All About Hikikomori: Japan's Missing Million - Tofugu
Everyone wants to retreat from the world sometimes. But while sitting in your room playing video games, scrolling through Tumblr and reading Tofugu articles may be the only things on your to-do list this weekend, you'll eventually get over that failed test or bad breakup, and leave your room again to rejoin society. (Also, your weakened, sunlight-deprived body will need food that isn't bright orange and puffed.) But some Japanese people find themselves spending months—sometimes years—of their lives in their bedrooms, only slipping out for midnight treks to the nearest convenience store. Usually male and usually in their twenties, these are Japan's "missing million," otherwise known as hikikomori—and no one really knows why they've withdrawn from the world, though it's not for lack of trying. A Little Hikikomori History Source: Ben Seidelman Saito Tamaki was working as a therapist in the city of Funabashi when he noticed a recurring pattern. Here's What We Do Know Source: Hunter McGinnis
A world of fear for Japan's shut-ins
Several years ago, a vogue of interest in shut-ins, or hikikomori, saw researchers from France touring Japan and meeting reclusive youths. Such was the prevalence of the disorder, said psychologist Nicolas Tajan, that “if you ask people in Japan about hikikomori, almost everyone will say, ‘I know somebody like that.’ But there is no such word in France.” I Called Him Necktie, by Milena Michiko Flasar Translated by Sheila Dickie.New Vessel Press, Fiction. Almost everyone? It’s not surprising to see foreign academic and cultural interest in the phenomenon of shut-ins. “Necktie” focuses on Hiro Taguchi, a 20-year-old who has spent the last two years holed up in his parents’ Tokyo home. Setting aside the fact that there are no wild cranes in Tokyo, or anywhere else on Honshu for that matter, we are told that Taguchi is compelled to go outside. The two men slowly trade life stories, told through conversation and flashbacks, and form a tenuous friendship. Where Flasar shines is in style.