Social Isolation in Japan: Hikikomori

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We all get lonely, but what’s it like to be alone for a really long time? Welcome to the world of Japan’s hikikomori. The word literally means pulling inward, and it’s a social condition where people purposely cut themselves off from society. But is there more to it than just feeling alone? Well, I went to Tokyo and spent time with some hikikomori who are trying to bring it out of the shadows.

In 2016, the government reported that there were 540,000 hikikomori in Japan, but that only counts people under 40. So if you include everyone, some estimate that there are actually 1 and a half million, which means that roughly 1 out of every 100 people in the country is isolating themself. In Japanese society, conformity is very important. We have a saying, if you are a nail, sticking up, you’ll be hammered down.

Hikikomori itself is just a social condition, it’s not mental illness, but many need mental health care. I’m jobless, living on welfare, suffering from depression, but still, I might be able to do something. We interviewed Naruse in a studio. Because of her disorder, she likes to keep her apartment perfectly clean. Hikikomori are so prevalent in Japan that last year.

(Please watch the video above to find out more)

Source: NBC Left Field Channel on Youtube


  1. hikikomori is the biggest mistake in a person’s condition, humans are social creatures, humans should need each other and must establish relationships with others

  2. I just found out there are social conditions like that. living life without people around seems very difficult. we need to build relationships between people around.

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