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Hikikomori: Why Are So Many Japanese Men Refusing To Leave Their Rooms?

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23182523

As many as a million young people in Japan are thought to remain holed up in their homes - sometimes for decades at a time. Why?

..

In Japan, hikikomori, a term that's also used to describe the young people who withdraw, is a word that everyone knows.

Tamaki Saito was a newly qualified psychiatrist when, in the early 1990s, he was struck by the number of parents who sought his help with children who had quit school and hidden themselves away for months and sometimes years at a time. These young people were often from middle-class families, they were almost always male, and the average age for their withdrawal was 15.

It might sound like straightforward teenage laziness. Why not stay in your room while your parents wait on you? But Saito says sufferers are paralysed by profound social fears.

"They are tormented in the mind," he says. "They want to go out in the world, they want to make friends or lovers, but they can't."

Symptoms vary between patients. For some, violent outbursts alternate with infantile behaviour such as pawing at the mother's body. Other patients might be obsessive, paranoid and depressed.

..

Andy Furlong, an academic at the University of Glasgow specialising in the transition from education to work, connects the growth of the hikikomori phenomenon with the popping of the 1980s "bubble economy" and the onset of Japan's recession of the 1990s.

It was at this point that the conveyor belt of good school grades leading to good university places leading to jobs-for-life broke down. A generation of Japanese were faced with the insecurity of short-term, part-time work.

And it came with stigma, not sympathy.

Job-hopping Japanese were called "freeters" - a combination of the word "freelance" and the German word for "worker", arbeiter. In political discussion, freeters were frequently bundled together with "neets" - an adopted British acronym meaning "not in education, employment or training". Neets, freeters, hikikomori - these were ways of describing the good-for-nothing younger generation, parasites on the flagging Japanese economy. The older generation, who graduated and slotted into steady careers in the 1960s and 1970s, could not relate to them.

I presume these people don't show up on the unemployment stats in Japan? So there maybe more than 1m more additional unemployed in Japan than estimates state?

A phenomenon just in Japan?

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Japans probably a very shame based society.

I think there are probably similar situations in the US and UK (one thinks of the stereotypical US 'geek living in his mothers basement') but in the US theres probably no shame to it, or to not being 'sucessful'

In Japan the shame is probably so intense complete and permanent withdrawal is the only option, whereas here everyone's so slobby no one really cares what kind of lifestyle anyone else leads.

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In Japan the shame is probably so intense complete and permanent withdrawal is the only option, whereas here everyone's so slobby no one really cares what kind of lifestyle anyone else leads.

I think you are underestimating the pressure put on young people in the UK. Most UK graduates feel intense shame if they are unable to land a 'graduate job', or indeed any job after finishing university. Family members can add to the problem through criticising and constantly drawing attention to their 'failure'. Luckily I never got stuck in this situation myself but I know two people who did. One of them is essentially a 30 year old hikikomori now and has had treatment for clinical depression, the other got himself a supermarket job about a year after graduating and has worked in NMWish jobs while living with his parents for almost a decade.

High expectations plus few opportunities mean that the UK is perfectly primed for hikikomori creation now.

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I think you are underestimating the pressure put on young people in the UK. Most UK graduates feel intense shame if they are unable to land a 'graduate job', or indeed any job after finishing university. Family members can add to the problem through criticising and constantly drawing attention to their 'failure'. Luckily I never got stuck in this situation myself but I know two people who did. One of them is essentially a 30 year old hikikomori now and has had treatment for clinical depression, the other got himself a supermarket job about a year after graduating and has worked in NMWish jobs while living with his parents for almost a decade.

High expectations plus few opportunities mean that the UK is perfectly primed for hikikomori creation now.

Too many pressures to succeed financially instead of aiming for other more important stepping stones... family and peer pressure...people are wrongly judged too often on what job they do and earn, what clothes they wear and how much cash they have, what car they drive, what flat they live in a where.....they think that without reaching certain targets they are a failure which is quite clearly wrong, they feel they are not worthy will never meet someone that would want to marry them etc etc....they stress, they become anxious so they hide away from other people and society, those they feel they can't compete with, those they think are better them...but of course they are not. ;)

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Too many pressures to succeed financially instead of aiming for other more important stepping stones... family and peer pressure...people are wrongly judged too often on what job they do and earn, what clothes they wear and how much cash they have, what car they drive, what flat they live in a where.....they think that without reaching certain targets they are a failure which is quite clearly wrong, they feel they are not worthy will never meet someone that would want to marry them etc etc....they stress, they become anxious so they hide away from other people and society, those they feel they can't compete with, those they think are better them...but of course they are not. ;)

"If I can hear the Tao in the morning, in the evening I can die content."

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As per Dorkins and Winkie I think we have the same pressures here now.

I have had a few chats with older people about their working 40 years for one company straight from school, not over-demanding jobs, sports and social clubs and family days. They felt looked after and valued.

They weren't made rich by it but they were secure and could buy a house, car and go on (mostly UK-based) holidays on their modest salaries before retiring on their final salary index-linked pensions.

Boy that sounds good.

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As per Dorkins and Winkie I think we have the same pressures here now.

I have had a few chats with older people about their working 40 years for one company straight from school, not over-demanding jobs, sports and social clubs and family days. They felt looked after and valued.

They weren't made rich by it but they were secure and could buy a house, car and go on (mostly UK-based) holidays on their modest salaries before retiring on their final salary index-linked pensions.

Boy that sounds good.

Jobs sometimes boring, for life with security, benefits and protections are a dying breed....especially in the private sector. ;)

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As per Dorkins and Winkie I think we have the same pressures here now.

I have had a few chats with older people about their working 40 years for one company straight from school, not over-demanding jobs, sports and social clubs and family days. They felt looked after and valued.

They weren't made rich by it but they were secure and could buy a house, car and go on (mostly UK-based) holidays on their modest salaries before retiring on their final salary index-linked pensions.

Boy that sounds good.

Than inflation started to take over making those expensive luxuries the accountants could cut.

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I think you are underestimating the pressure put on young people in the UK. Most UK graduates feel intense shame if they are unable to land a 'graduate job', or indeed any job after finishing university. Family members can add to the problem through criticising and constantly drawing attention to their 'failure'. Luckily I never got stuck in this situation myself but I know two people who did. One of them is essentially a 30 year old hikikomori now and has had treatment for clinical depression, the other got himself a supermarket job about a year after graduating and has worked in NMWish jobs while living with his parents for almost a decade.

High expectations plus few opportunities mean that the UK is perfectly primed for hikikomori creation now.

This is true. The pressure to secure an executive apartment with a Juliet balcony overlooking a roundabout is particularly intense.

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As per Dorkins and Winkie I think we have the same pressures here now.

I have had a few chats with older people about their working 40 years for one company straight from school, not over-demanding jobs, sports and social clubs and family days. They felt looked after and valued.

They weren't made rich by it but they were secure and could buy a house, car and go on (mostly UK-based) holidays on their modest salaries before retiring on their final salary index-linked pensions.

Boy that sounds good.

Yes that's my dad, left school at 16, went straight to work in a multinational engineering company. Got an interesting technical job in the office. Resisted all offers of promotion to management level. Started work at 9, finished at 5 every single day plus came home for lunch hour. Retired and now living on a comfortable pension from the company with a big family home paid off.

No idea how he'd have managed in today's jobs "market".

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In Japan the shame is probably so intense complete and permanent withdrawal is the only option, whereas here everyone's so slobby no one really cares what kind of lifestyle anyone else leads.

UK is moving more towards a shame based society though.

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UK is moving more towards a shame based society though.

I don't think so.

Despite the decline of religious observance European and US societies are still sin based and that is how we regard the unemployed. Those not working are regarded as in a fallen state which is why the able bodied and idle are generally considered as undeserving just as they were under the 16th century Poor Laws. Incidentally we generally apply the same criteria to the rich. Those who have genuinely laboured for their rewards are considered more deserving than those who achieved wealth by inheritance, good fortune or family influence. Even though British society is unjust and hierachic the working poor have normally been considered more worthy than the idle rich.To be genuinely working class has never been shameful. This is why politicians always like to bat on about hard working families.

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Bad Things Lyrics

Jace Everett

When you came in the air went out

And every shadow filled up with doubt

I don't know who you think you are

But before the night is through

I wanna do bad things with you

I'm the kind to sit up in his room

Heart sick an' eyes filled up with blue

I don't know what you've done to me

But I know this much is true

I wanna do bad things with you, okay

When you came in the air went out

And all those shadows there filled up with doubt

I don't know who you think you are

But before the night is through

I wanna do bad things with you

I wanna do real bad things with you

I don't know what you've done to me

But I know this much is true

I wanna do bad things with you

I wanna do real bad things with you

Read more: JACE EVERETT - BAD THINGS LYRICS

Not just a Japanese phenomenon.

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I don't think so.

Despite the decline of religious observance European and US societies are still sin based and that is how we regard the unemployed. Those not working are regarded as in a fallen state which is why the able bodied and idle are generally considered as undeserving just as they were under the 16th century Poor Laws. Incidentally we generally apply the same criteria to the rich. Those who have genuinely laboured for their rewards are considered more deserving than those who achieved wealth by inheritance, good fortune or family influence. Even though British society is unjust and hierachic the working poor have normally been considered more worthy than the idle rich.To be genuinely working class has never been shameful. This is why politicians always like to bat on about hard working families.

Yes! :blink:

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The sufferers of 'Hikikomori': Inside the bedrooms where almost a MILLION Japanese men lock themselves away for years, surfing the internet and reading manga comics
2A5BCCD300000578-0-image-a-17_1436396156

It's the social and health crisis plaguing almost one million Japanese people. The sufferers of 'Hikikomori' - mostly young men - have such severe social withdrawal they isolate themselves in their bedroom, in some cases for years. One of the few hikikomori experts in Japan, Dr Takahiro Kato, suffered from the condition as a student and is now working to prevent it from having a widespread affect on the next generation. Yuto Onishi (left), 18, from Tokyo had not left his bedroom for almost three years before he sought treatment six months ago. Pictured is right and inset are Japanese sufferers of hikikomori who are featured in a French documentary.

The Mail decides to recycle this story.

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Guest eight

This is true. The pressure to secure an executive apartment with a Juliet balcony overlooking a roundabout is particularly intense.

Haha. I thought the same thing when I saw just such a sight the other day. In Shildon.

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Guest eight

Doesn't sound a bad life - surfing the internet and reading magna comics. I wouldn't mind... Oh, hang on! :o

I bet compulsive masturbation plays a big part too.

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Its here too. I know two families where this happened, both to sons. One was like it for about 5 years, the second had a family of two boys, one went out a lot, the other was holed up..again, it passed when a job came along.

As I have girls, I also noted that the way they interacted with boys was different. dating, or being asked out, is not what they did, they sort of went out in groups and their group would interact with another group. They would go out in groups. The one living in France still does this. Its rare for her to simply go out with just her BF.

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MGTOW?

In the past, if a man had a reasonably good job he could expect to have a house and a reasonably stable marriage with a woman who would support him. That's all gone now; hard work doesn't get you a house, thanks to HPI, and relationships with women are highly conditional and short term. Marriage in fact can lead to financial disaster for a man. So it's understandable that men have just started dropping out of it all.

I suspect that in the US (and perhaps the UK) there are plenty of these hikikomori (Known disparagingly as 'neckbeards' in the USA). The difference is that the US and to a lesser extent the UK are individualist cultures, and men are better at turning the situation into something more positive, eg with the MGTOW movement, instead of just sitting in their rooms in despair.

I suspect Japan's very conformist culture would make it difficult to be a MGTOW.

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  • 245 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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