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Tokyo ward finds 1 in 3 recluses don't want gov't help to reintegrate

29 Comments
By Manami Misono

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As long as they're healthy I can't blame them for wanting to stay at homu!

6 ( +20 / -14 )

A recent survey conducted in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward has shown that as many as one-third of hikikomori, or social recluses, living there have no desire for the government to help them reintegrate into society.

Hikikomori takes a look outside at the wonderful, rewarding world of work created by the LDP and Japan Inc. and decides to stay inside.

News at 11.

he fact that more than 30 percent of respondents say they want to be left alone is indicative of a wider failing with the government's outreach efforts, they say.

It is a failure of the LDP and Japan Inc. in creating an economy of unrewarding drudgery, overtaxed, leading to an increasingly difficult, dismal end as many Japanese age.

2 ( +20 / -18 )

They want to continue being waited on, and pandered to, by their enabling parents.

-29 ( +8 / -37 )

dagonToday  07:27 am JST

Nailed it...

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

What I call USELESS, the true definition of the word, and why not as long as meals are served, a roof is over the head, and spoiling parent is at their disposal.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Just turn off the wifi they soon go out. Really this is a social outcome solely made by the Japanese work attitude. Like you can,t go to work in Japan without showing 100% company commitment. People are sick of having to show company loyalties. This is the result when you disagree with the merger wage for the personal out put of respect, loyalty and commitment demanded by the company. There is no personal or financial value in that sort of lifestyle so they don't even try.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Seems like one third is not interested in the government help.

Why they should be interested in work from morning to evening with plenty of unpaid overtime and no holidays.

Now they do what they want just let them live their life. It is called freedom of choice. I bet if the world would be interesting place they would go out right away.

I think the government should change the environment first before forcing people to go out.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

An upbringing in Japanese culture seems like it would be stifling enough to make anyone feel defeated at times. Some just stay there and curl inward.

I'd be curious to know see study into the childhoods of hikikomori to see what sorts of patterns arise.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I once met a woman that told me she was left alone when both her parents died in a car crash. She collected a lot of money. Didn’t work, stayed at home all the time and when I would video call her in the middle of the day, all her curtains were closed and no lights on.

Sounds like she IS one.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

That doesn't excuse adults being a burden on their parents. Parents should charge them rent, increase the rent every 6 months, if they don't pay, evict them.

The head of the house should be asked if they want govt help or not. No shame in trying to get adult kids out of the house. My parents moved a week after I left the first time. There was no going home.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

it’s a cruel world out there-I would stay at home more if I could!

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

a) I will never denigrate these people; it’s easy to tell them to get out; to call them parasites; to think of them as weak (but); life ain’t easy and human stupidity knows no limits. b) / (Japanese) society expects too much from you and humans are not kind to each other so it’s not about giving up, it’s more complicated than that. c) hikikomori are not “having fun” at home, they’re not happy and(!) it was not in their plans to end up like that. compassion is a beautiful thing.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I would be interested to see the figures for rural areas, where communities are more integrated but on a much smaller scale.

I'd reckon if you didnt pull your weight in rice harvesting or fishing thier would be consequences, not mollycuddling.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Name ten good things about leaving the comfort of your house?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

David BrentToday  08:55 am JST

They want to continue being waited on, and pandered to, by their enabling parents.

This show a compelete lack of awareness of each families situation, and frankly pandering is the last thing these parents ever do.

Many stay at home because they can't afford a place of their own.Very similar to people in the US.UK Australia,NZ because they can't afford a place. Culturally Japan wants kids to stay home because this saves the government a ton of money on care costs. The kids stay home, and can look after their parents 24/7, reduces social care costs and the relevant taxes needed to pay for it. Some people who do stay home because they have mental health issues, anxiety, depression ,schizophrenia, but rather than stigmatize them as mentally ill, it might be better to call them Hikikomori.Some may have Aspergers, ADHD. etc. Learning difficulties, Not in Education, or offered training. and basically ignored but education/health/employments systems because they cause no harm.

If they do work, they probably only work part time, wishing to stay out of the corporate robot system where many are worked to death or to state of over work.

So before you judge them you might want to consider that these same people live in the US, UK, Australia, NZ, Canada. Many may become homeless, so if they have a a good relationship with their parents that's better for A) the person,B) the family C) the state, D) the tax payer. On top of they they aren't causing any crime or harm to anyone.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

John-SanToday  10:02 am JST

Just turn off the wifi they soon go out. Really this is a social outcome solely made by the Japanese work attitude. Like you can,t go to work in Japan without showing 100% company commitment. People are sick of having to show company loyalties. This is the result when you disagree with the merger wage for the personal out put of respect, loyalty and commitment demanded by the company. There is no personal or financial value in that sort of lifestyle so they don't even try.

This isn't just a Japanese thing. Although the media has picked up on it as Japanese and is a cultural thing but it is also in the US/UK/ and other countries. They existed well before the world of wi-fi and internet.But you have a point regarding work, but I also wonder if a large part of this was the rigidity of the Japanese school system, and not finding kids who need help and early support.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@Abe234,

Great comments.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Only 1/3? I would have expected higher.

Why is it a problem that 1/3 of these people made a choice that they want to keep? I'd say the problem is that 2/3 of them don't want to maintain this lifestyle, not that 1/3 does.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The "living off their parents' resources" bit is obviously not good at all, and unfair to the parents. But even with that said, I do not blame these people at all for wanting to stay home and out of society. People, especially strangers, can be needlessly cruel.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are many factors at play I believe. Social anxiety disorders, avoidance personality disorders, depression stemming from school, culture, relationships and group dynamics.

Emotional immaturity is also a contributor. Self development will remain stagnant if one never thinks for oneself and is conditioned to always follow instruction.

Gaming seems to be a prominent feature. Perhaps it gives opportunity to make your own choices and decisions and be in control .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@rcch, good comment. As a little card on my keyboard says, "You can stop being surprised at what happens in the world, but you should never stop caring."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As long as they're healthy I can't blame them for wanting to stay at homu!

Being physically fit is not the same as being healthy, there is also psychological and social health to take into account. A person that is unable to integrate to society and lives in isolation as the only option he sees means that this person is not healthy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Society obviously has or sees a big problem with them, so it’s of course only more than fair that they also see or have a problem with the society. It’s a very one-sided opinion or attempt to expect only the hikikomori to change or adapt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To deepen people's understanding of the hikikomori issue, it is also considering enacting an ordinance by the end of the current fiscal year.

I had no idea that an ordinance could serve this purpose.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ahhh yes, the elusive hikikomori, every once in awhile you'll see one in the wild... they're often identified by long hair, very light skin and il-fitting clothes that are unfashionable. When you see one, do not look them in the eye because they can be unpredictable since they do not conform to the norms of society. It is said that their numbers will start to dwindle since the parent figures are starting to die off and often they follow soon thereafter. We need more research on them but the remain elusive. Ultimately they exist but little can be done to help them at this point. A sad an unfortunate state of affairs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wonder if they tried asking them.

What do you like to do? Start from there. If it's watching TV perhaps workshops on film making/photography/visit to a studio. More constructive help that wouldn't seem like 'integration ' might be a start

2 ( +2 / -0 )

hikikomoriOne may wonder where the old people sleeping on cardboard in Tokyo alleys come from...

Abe234Aug. 20 01:00 pm JST

Good job! and many [+] which is unusual for someone advocating 'understanding' here...

"virusrexAug. 20 07:41 pm JST

As long as they're healthy I can't blame them for wanting to stay at homu!

Being physically fit is not the same as being healthy, there is also psychological and social health to take into account. A person that is unable to integrate to society and lives in isolation as the only option he sees means that this person is not healthy."

But one must consider 'context' when determining 'health'. Our (Human) hierarchical, psychopath dominated social structure leaves countless Humans ground under its relentless and remorseless feet in ALL 'societies' and construing 'failure to participate' to mean that the individual is "unhealthy" is an unsupported judgement of those who can tolerate the required 'obedience', 'boredom', and 'pointlessness' of 'modern society' having been 'trained' out of any possibility of and discouraged from discovering their own path to 'meaning'. That is, is it the individual or the context that is 'unhealthy? It would be most interesting to see if 'hikikomori' might generally fall into the higher standard deviations of Human 'intelligence', a study, perhaps, a 'scientific' critic might be interested in pursuing...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But one must consider 'context' when determining 'health'. 

This would be like considering "context" when determining malnutrition. Arguing about how lack of food is common on a location, or making a list of reasons why a children has been unable to get a good diet does nothing to prove he is not malnourished, they just explain why he is unhealthy.

In social health problems the same thing happens, arguing how society must be better does nothing to make patients unable to interact socially magically healthy, it only helps explaining why they are not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On top of they they aren't causing any crime or harm to anyone.

Wrong.

They are harming themselves by denying themselves the satisfaction of earning a living, making their way in the world. A simple paycheck, no matter the size, is good for the soul.

They are harming their parents in many ways.

When the parents die, how many will lie to the govt to keep the parent's pension coming for years? That harms society.

They are parasites on the good will of parents, family, neighbors, society.

Coddling them is what allowed a small issue become a societal problem. It won't get better, until that ends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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