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Japan Mixes Perceptions Toward Hikikomori on Social Recluses

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is hikikomori?
  3. Discussion
  4. The Factors of people suffer hikikomori
    In school environment
    Family Factors
  5. Social Environment
  6. Individual Factors
  7. Some Perceptions toward hikikomori
  8. Conclusion


Japan is one of developed countries in East Asia and be habituated by 128 million of people. Those people are very uphold toward many aspects related with their identity as Japanese people such as culture, politeness, discipline, dedicated, hardworking, and etc. However, Japan also has a wide range of social issues that affect the future of this country. Since, Japan has lost 700. 000 young-adult as if missing from the surface of the Earth. Those people did not go to work and socializing with people then hiding for months. The symptoms of this cases are depressed, afraid, frustrated and etc. For example, there was a young student went into university joined her test but the result was bad and she got really depressed on it since her failed to fulfill the expectation of her parents, then decided to lock herself in a room in long time. Then, this phenomenon known as social withdrawal or called as hikikomori.

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This issues also be discussed on TheJakartaPost published on March 16, 2018 about an old man that issolated himself for 20 years and its categorize as hikikomori.

What is hikikomori?

Hikikomori is a phenomenon that infected young – adult in Japan. Hikikomori defined where a person usually confines himself/herself in a room for very long time from society and they did not want to socialize with others. According to Japanese psychologist, Dr. Tamaki Saito said that “Hikikomori is a condition of seclusion where there is no social participation and it lasts at least six months ( social participation is defined as attending school, going to work or sustaining close relationships with people from outside of the person’s family). There is rather no possibility that a mental disease is the major reason of the problem”. Based on World Psychiatry and Cabinet Office of Japan, this phenomenon started since the late 1990s and known as Shakaiteki hikikomori (social withdrawal) and according to survey in 2010, people who suffer hikikomori approximately 1. 2% of Japanese populations then in 2016 its estimated about 541. 000 within age range 15-35 years. It will give impacts in Japan’s social life. Teenagers changed their habits from productive and become consumptive. Moreover, teenagers will give negative impacts toward society and Japan will lose their next generations. Because of hikikomori, many of young-adult become elderly and depend on their family then populations growth are decreasing. Since this phenomenon really common in Japan and some people which their relatives or friends suffer hikikomori, they show different perspective with this issue. In this case, this paper will discuss about perception of hikikomori in Japan society.


Hikikomori did not really familiar in our circumstances but this happen in Japan. Most people in Japan well-known this issues and pretend be fine either one of the family suffer hikikomori. They did not ask about the reason why they suffer, and there is a case which family did not want to help them to survive. Therefore, why there is some difference perceptions about this. Before people curious about something, they should now the reason behind it.

The Factors of people suffer hikikomori

Someone will not directly infected by something. There are several factors why people become health, sick, happy, sad and etc. These causes also influence someone psychology and sometimes when he/she got bad experience then your psychology did not accept it. It will give a deep impact for him/her like hikikomori case that make people afraid to socialize with others and decide to keep themself saved in a room. Here are the reasons

In school environment

A teenager who continue her study but she face a difficult time when her friends did bullying (Ijime) because her appearance was not pretty. However, the teenager did not feeling comfortable with the situation then she decided will not attend to class anymore and isolated herself in a room. Then, Tookoo kyohi is a situation when student want to continue their education into high level, they have to compete each other since Japan has high standar in education and its make students stress. Gogatsu-byo, it’s like a disease on spring and its a new season which make they hard to socialize themself into new environment or failed in test to enter a university.

Family Factors

In this cases, family is important but in Japan if it’s a boy, he carry big responsibilities toward his family especially for the eldest son. He should have high level education, continue family business and take care of their parents. But some family who suffer hikikomori be hidden by part of family in a room and provide the facilities so it makes people comfort become hikikomari. Then, amae it means depend on people kindness. So, when parent show their love, they tried to fulfill kind of facilities to make their child comfort in the house and unrealized it, it’s make a child become hikikomori. Hitorikko / single child, when father works and mother take care of their child, mother only teach her child to focus on education and did not let her kids to play with another kids.

Social Environment

Nowadays, everything been published on television or social media and sometimes tradition factors make people to isolated themself from society. So, when there is a person who suffer hikikomori, family will try to hide it than consultation to national authorities to rescue someone from hikikomori behavior. The reason it’s that because they will feel embarrassed if their neighbors hear that.

Individual Factors

Mental condition can make people feel frustrated because he have to fulfill the demands and that’s make that person become stress and become hikikomori.

There are all factors that possible make person become suffers hikikomori.

Some Perceptions toward hikikomori

People have many stereotypes toward hikikomori issues. Some people thinks become hikikomori are shameful because they did not do anything. They spend 24 hours daily life in a small room, they sleep at morning and do activities at night such as played a video game, access their social media, or watch anime and read manga, and because of technologies are developed hikikomori more getting used to stay at room and prepare ordered needs via online and this will exacerbate social life in Japan and it will make who age revenge 15 to 34 years old become NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). According to the JapanTimes published on July 20, 2018, there is a women in their 50s being interview to discuss about hikikomori, she has a daughter in her early 20s, didn’t continue her study without sufficient conditions to graduate. Her daughter always said she had a fever and was sleeping at home and called her daughter as a NEET while looking disappointed. She blame herself because she thinks its an effect of her bad marriage and makes her daughter becomes like that. But in this case, this women support her daughter to recovery and can continue their life smoothly. However, there is a person who still hard to suffer this syndrome. According to the JakartaPost published on March 16, 2018, his name is Ikeida age 55 years who shut himself away from society for 20 years and never met his parents or his brother trough this time. In fact, he was the best graduate from Univeristy of Tokyo and all of his friends got a better job in prestigious company. He tried to survive trough social assistance funds and got some incomes from writing articles online.

The reason he becomes hikikomori because when he continue his study, its to fulfill his parents demands. He should do that to get a better job. After he graduate he feels empety and broken heart. He thinks it’s not suitable for him to work and meet people who did not make him comfortable, then he decided to shut himself away from society. Moreover, some people asks some questions, why these people did not try to survive. It’s not that hard to socialize with a lot of people. However, in Mr. Ikeida its different case. Actually, he tried so hard to recovery and ask his parents to accompanied him to a psychiatrist but they refused. He wants people change their stereotypes toward hikikomori which they were insane but obviously they were not. They are in pain and need people to heal it. And this phenomenon still happen in Japan even spread abroad such as United States, India, Europe and many more.

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From this discussion, I conclude that people who suffer from hikikomori cause by many factors which make them become like that. And most of things that impact them are social circumstances like in school, work environment, family even themselves. Hikikomori itself obviously a situation which make them afraid to socialize with others and assume a room is the best and safest place in the world. Hikikomori also impact our psychology and its make people frustrated, depressed, or pain which they cannot share with their own family. Since this phenomenon are common in Japan, people has different perceptions toward these. Like in the first case, a young girl suffers hikikomori but her closes family known the reason why she become like that but her mother treat her like a normal people and it makes her survive. While the other case, a man who suffers hikikomori only himself known why he become like that but his family try to hide him because feels embarrassing if one of family suffers these. It makes him harder to recovery and family did not want to accompanied him to a psychiatrist. If Japanese people want to erase this crucial phenomenon, they should guide them into the right ways, sharing about their problem, support them without staying away from them.

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Japan Mixes Perceptions Toward Hikikomori on Social Recluses. (2020, March 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 27, 2023, from
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