06 April 2005

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Q & A about Hikikomori Part 6 <p> I was contacted via email by someone interested in the topic of hikikomori and posed me several excellent questions. I thought I’d post the questions and my answers to the blog as the answers might prove useful to others looking into the hikikomori issue.... Dziesinski, I am writing an essay on hikikomori, and as you worked on the subject, I would like to ask you a few questions about that: I hope you will find these answers helpful (and that I got them to you in time). Question 6: In your research, one of your graph shows that 20% of the sufferers are 30 or more. Did they become recluses at that age or did they choose the seclusion much earlier, as teenagers? Hikikomori in their late twenties or thirties most likely became withdrawn in their high school years and because the hikikomori issue has only come to be recently recognized in Japanese society, these individuals languished in their rooms for years or even decades. So I conjecture that the hikikomori phenomenon is one of the young, ranging from junior high school to the first years of college, when the expectations and pressures of society upon the role of a person as they enter society at large is most acutely felt. Another thing, I don’t know if hikikomori ‘chose’ seclusion as much as the pressures of parents, school and society more or less DRIVE them to isolation to maintain a sense of identity (remember that most hikikomori are only socially inept, not mentally ill). I hope you can answer these few questions, so I could have a more acute idea of the phenomenon. </p>

Michael Dziesinski

I'm a University of Hawaii PhD in Sociology discussing youth issues in Japanese society in this blog.

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