crime

Recent murder cases in Japan draw attention to recluses living with aging parents

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The only reason there are "80/50" problems is the parents don't kick them out when it's a "50/20" problem.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

If one is being fed, clothed, given an allowance, and otherwise cared for, WTH WOULD they leave? But it's not only a Japanese problem. Do a YouTube search for "mom feeds game addicted son" if you want to see an extreme case of enabling.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Those who defend the hikikomori seem to have very short memories. They need to look back at the last decade or so and count how many hikikomori have committed violent offenses, most of which have been against children. There have been many cases of them hanging around schools and parks and attacking children, both physically and verbally with a few ending in deaths. I do agree it is wrong to label all hikikomoris as violent attackers. However, ignoring and downplaying the number of attacks on children by these emotionally disturbed offenders is also wrong.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Can those two cases really form a growing pattern? One was atrocious and premeditated while the other person was only guilty of arguing with people and was killed by his parents for it.

The fact that both were recluses only make things circumstantial.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Stop naming muderers/terrorists etc., you are giving them the publicity they craved. Concentrate on the victims.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I understand the fine line the Hikikomori advocates are trying to walk here.

On the one hand its obvious that there is a problem - this (and other attacks) was committed by a recluse and there is an obvious concern that this is becoming a familiar pattern (not to say that all recluses are committing random acts of violence, but it does seem that a lot of the people committing random acts of violence are recluses).

On the other, if being a recluse is a problem then obviously we want to help people step out of that world and into the real one. But if public attitudes are hardening against them because of stuff like this its going to be harder to coax them out of their shells and deal with the overall problem.

The only positive is that the path to becoming a hikikomori seems to have been significantly reduced by demographics and the labor shortage. As the article notes this problem really ballooned during the lost decade when people who are middle aged now were graduating from college/university and not able to find jobs. The intense social stigma that attached to that failure probably drove a lot of them into being hikikomori, but today's graduates don't have the same problem (and probably won't for many years to come given the ever shrinking pool of them).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am not being judgemental but Japanese society should follow some rules like.......................1). Japanese children should earn their own living by the time, these children completed their education. 2). Japanese children over school period or at 20 years old should be able to feed themselves. 3). Any able Japanese adult of 20 years old will be jailed if they do not earn their own living. These few points make more sense to Japanese society than finding problems with gaikokujin. These ways may also prevent anyone from killing their children & anyone killing their parents.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

Section them and rehabilitate them when in secure care. They obviously have mental problems.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Solution: Move out of the house at age 20 or get a Job and pay rent. Doing this teaches self discipline, and how to properly communicate with others. Hiding from society in a small room, eating in your room, and never leaving your house is NOT okay. Obviously a serious mental condition has set in for these people who hide from society. It is quite nice outside.Go for a walk, get some sun, and fresh air. If the people can' t do it on their own, then they need serious help.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hikkikomori cannot exist in a vacuum. Behind every single one of them you find a family giving them support- food, laundry service, tv/internet access, etc. It's impossible to be a true hikikomori without others heping.

The solution is obvious, but it takes the enabling families' cooperation. First, no food delivered to their room. All meals eaten at the table in the dining room. Next, no "pocket money". There are myriad jobs available, even part time for those who want them. Finally, GET HELP within the first month or two. Once the whole lifestyle of shut-in and enabler gets cemented, it's hard for anyone to break it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Atillathehungry - The solution may seem obvious, but look a bit deeper and you’ll find connections to a wide range of societal issues - all of which could be seen to contribute to the problem.

Heres one that is directly quoted in the article:

A neighbor of Kumazawa described him and his wife as a "gentle couple" but said he never spoke about his family.

"He appeared not to want others to be involved in his family matters," she said.

Rika Ueda, secretary general of the KHJ, said, "He may have wanted to hide (the matter of his son) due to concern about the public image."

Many people in Japan are unable to talk about personal issues. Many people feel shame and (ironically) lock these topics away in a small corner of their mind (hikkikomori style).

Maybe you remember the mass murder of people at a psychological hospital a year or so ago - many of the victims families didn’t want their dead family members named in news reports because of the stigma it’d cause. How sad is that?

Where can this be traced back to? JHS? HS? Is there a specific time that can be identified as the time people are discouraged to communicate and talk about their feelings? Maybe it’s more generational - but I teach dozens of university students who are clearly withdrawn and mentally underdeveloped for their age. They lack fundamental social skills and have no interest interacting with their peers even in their own language.

I understand the reaction of ‘kick them out of the house and make them get a job’, but by that time it’s often too late. There is a difference between laziness and hikkikomori.

It’s a huge complex problem that really needs to be addressed at various societal levels, and not just swept under a carpet, locked away in a room, or dismissed with the Japanese long sigh and teeth suck.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's nice to see society focusing on the people aspect of this problem rather than senseless regulation. We do need to make sure we go about this the right way and not have witch hunts for anyone that looks like they might hurt someone. Violence brings violence. Connecting with people is the way to go.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

People need to be in communication. They also need a purpose in life. Cut these things off and people go insane. With the TV on all the time during waking hours and kids introspectively hammering away at cell phone games, this is going to become more and more of a problem.

Time to dump the TV and get more live communication.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sometimes there are facts we can't avoid..

Humans are a social species, little to no participation with family, work, school, friends for long periods are definitely warning signs.

Yes there are varying degrees of desire to be involved with other people, and varying ability with some conditions but generally in these cases they are not people who have decided to go and make a life for themselves in the countryside or somewhere remote, they are in seriously unhealthy co-dependant relationships.

This doesn't automatically mean of course that all people like this are imminently dangerous, but they are almost certainly causing a great deal of hardship for those supporting them, and those that are supporting them, while probably felling very trapped, are not helping that person have any hope of changing their path to something more healthy.

Mental Health is not an easy thing to deal with it but this is where not addressing the problem, not talking about it, not seeking help, be more concerned with creating a fuss than fixing a real issue can lead to situations boiling over, either the recluse themselves or their families who can no longer cope.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Theres a high number ratio wise of recluses here in Japan. Theres also a very high number of enablers...people who should have taken action when their child was still a child.

Now (usually a he) is a giant massive man child with obvious mental health issues that are getting worse not better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kabuki or hand wringing time, no real proposals will be put forth by the government, I mean when was the last time they actually DID something. No, if you want to solve this problem, identify those at risk, pass a law forcing them into a peace corp, or humanitarian activity or the army. The Israel army has a draft and it is looked upon as an equalizer, rich and poor. Recently they went after the draft dodgers of all draft dodgers, the ultra-orthodox, and the hue and cry. Talk about recluses!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am not being judgemental but Japanese society should follow some rules like.......................1). Japanese children should earn their own living by the time, these children completed their education. 2). Japanese children over school period or at 20 years old should be able to feed themselves. 3). Any able Japanese adult of 20 years old will be jailed if they do not earn their own living. These few points make more sense to Japanese society than finding problems with gaikokujin. These ways may also prevent anyone from killing their children & anyone killing their parents.

Bravo !!!.. Tell me more, genious..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

614,000, that they know of, that equals out to, 1 in 20. That is a massive number. Hopefully they'll prove up to the task of taking care of their parents when the time comes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan needs to face up to the reality and scale of the hikikomori problem. So many people with these emotional problems is not indicative of a healthy society.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Doesn’t Japan have enough money to address the myriad mental health issues that need tackling???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mental health, enabling parents, and Japan's tight-a** society are the few reasons I can think of. A co-worker involved with this issue used to ask me accompany her visit a socila recluse who got addicted to games because I too love games, hoping that maybe we can connect. I refused, told her to tell the parents to stop buying games and feeding their son, get professional help.

If something bad happens involving mentally/emotionally unstable people, the agencies in-charge will always use  "privacy" as an excuse. When does the safety of the society go before the privacy of an individual? When is it right for the government to step-in?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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