Introverts and Hikikomori

There is a Japanese animated TV serial called Anohana, the story is about six friends, whose leader is Jinta Yadomi, who is in love with one of the group member, a girl called Meiko Honma. Meiko dies in an accident, which results in Yadomi withdrawing from society and living as recluse. He becomes what Japanese call- a Hikikomori. Later ghost of Meiko pulls him out of isolation and back to society.


Hikikomori is a Japanese term which refers to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. It is extreme case of introversion.

The psychiatrist Tamaki Saitō defines Hikikomori as “A state that has become a problem by the late twenties, that involves cooping oneself up in one’s own home and not participating in society for six months or longer, but that does not seem to have another psychological problem as its principal source.”


One of the reasons is tremendous pressure put by parents on children to excel in education; they face stiff competition while seeking admission to good colleges/universities. Even after graduation, students find it difficult to get decent jobs. Those who don’t make it to good universities or get decent jobs end up becoming Hikikomori to avoid public shame. Some prefer to stay at home rather than face difficult life outside.

They may lock themselves in their homes/bedrooms and avoid all outside contact, there are extreme cases where a person has not left his bedroom for decade!


Though this is predominantly Japanese phenomenon, some research needs to be done in societies that put similar pressure on their children to excel in studies and get decent jobs ex. Chinese and Indians.

Who knows we may come up with Indian version of Hikikomori.


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