free website hit counter

Are there a lot of shut ins in Japan?

Are there a lot of shut ins in Japan?

Shut ins or hikikomori is a phenomenon in Japan where people isolate themselves from the outside world for months or even years. This behavior has become a social issue that affects not only the individual but also their families and society as a whole. In this article, we will explore the prevalence of shut ins in Japan, the reasons behind this behavior, the impact on Japanese society, and how the government and society are addressing this problem.

Prevalence of shut ins in Japan

The exact number of shut ins in Japan is hard to determine since many cases go unreported. However, according to a government survey conducted in 2020, there were an estimated 610,000 hikikomori in Japan. This number has been on the rise since the 1990s and is a cause for concern for many.

Japanese Snack Box

Reasons behind shut ins

There is no single reason why people become shut ins, but some common factors include social pressure, academic stress, family issues, mental illness, and economic instability. The pressure to conform to societal expectations in Japan can be overwhelming for some individuals, leading them to withdraw from society. Additionally, the competitive education system and job market can cause immense stress that some cannot cope with.

Impact on Japanese society

The growing number of shut ins has had a significant impact on Japanese society. It has led to a decline in marriage and birth rates, as many hikikomori are unable or unwilling to form relationships. It has also affected the economy as many shut-ins are unable to contribute to the workforce. Furthermore, it has put a strain on families who have to support their loved ones and deal with social stigma.

Government and societal response

The Japanese government has recognized the severity of the issue and has taken steps to address it. In 2020, they allocated 1 billion yen to support shut-ins and their families. Counseling services and support groups have also been established to help those affected. Additionally, there have been efforts to change the culture of overworking and reduce the pressure on young people to conform.

Stigma surrounding shut ins

There is a significant stigma surrounding shut-ins in Japan, with many people viewing them as lazy or weak-willed. This stigma can prevent individuals from seeking help and can exacerbate their isolation. It is crucial to change societal attitudes towards hikikomori and recognize that it is a complex issue that requires support and understanding.

International comparison

The phenomenon of shut-ins is not unique to Japan, but it is more prevalent there than in other countries. In South Korea, there is a similar phenomenon called “jonghyun” that affects mainly young men. However, unlike Japan, South Korea has not yet recognized this as a social issue and has not taken steps to address it.

Treatment options

Treatment for shut-ins varies depending on the individual’s situation, but it usually involves therapy, medication, and gradual exposure to social situations. Family support is also crucial in helping individuals recover from their isolation. However, the road to recovery can be long and challenging, and not all individuals are willing or able to seek help.

Long-term consequences

The long-term consequences of being a shut-in can be severe. It can lead to depression, anxiety, physical health problems, and social isolation. It can also affect an individual’s ability to form relationships and find employment, which can have lifelong consequences.

Media portrayal

The media has played a role in perpetuating the stigma surrounding shut-ins, often portraying them as strange or abnormal. However, there have been recent efforts to change this, with more sympathetic portrayals of hikikomori in television and film. These portrayals can help raise awareness and reduce the shame associated with being a shut-in.


The phenomenon of shut-ins in Japan is a complex issue that requires a nuanced understanding of the factors that contribute to it. It is not merely a matter of personal choice or weakness but rather a symptom of broader societal issues. Addressing this issue requires a multifaceted approach that involves not only the government but also families and society as a whole.


1. “Hikikomori: Japan’s reclusive youths who won’t leave their bedrooms.” BBC News. 14 June 2016.

2. “Number of hikikomori in Japan rises to over 610,000: survey.” The Mainichi. 17 June 2020.

3. “Hikikomori: Why are so many Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?” The Guardian. 21 October 2019.

4. “How Japan’s hikikomori are trying to re-enter society.” BBC News. 26 February 2020.

5. “South Korea’s hidden problem of ‘jonghyun’ men.” BBC News. 21 September 2020.

What is Japan’s shut in problem?

In Japan, there is a condition known as hikikomori, where young people withdraw from society and become reclusive in their parents’ homes for extended periods of time, unable to attend school or work. This behavior is considered a severe form of social withdrawal.

Is it rude to sleep in public in Japan?

It is common to see people sleeping in public places in Japan, which may seem unusual to those from other countries. However, in Japan it is widely accepted to sleep in public without anyone disturbing or taking their belongings. This practice can be observed several times a day in Japan.

Is there hot topic in Japan?

The HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE pop-up shop, which features capsule collections from Hot Topic, Her Universe, and ASOBI SYSTEM, will open in Tokyo, Japan on August 10th, 2022. This retail experience is the first of its kind, and will feature designs that reflect the unique aesthetic of each brand.

How do shut ins survive in Japan?

The majority of NEETs depend on financial support from their parents, which typically covers the cost of rent for a small living space, basic utilities, and a set amount of money for food. This information was reported on March 29, 2017.

How do hikikomori get food?

A lot of people dealing with hikikomori live with their parents who take care of their basic needs like food. This was reported on July 9th, 2013.

What does a hikikomori do all day?

Hikikomori is a term used by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare to describe a condition in which people refuse to leave their parents’ home, do not attend school or work, and isolate themselves in a single room away from society and family for more than six months.

Community Support

Apart from government and family support, there are also community-based initiatives to help shut-ins. These initiatives aim to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for shut-ins to socialize and interact with others gradually. Some groups organize outings and events to expose shut-ins to new experiences and help them build their social skills. These community support groups can be a valuable resource for shut-ins who may not have access to professional help or who feel more comfortable in a peer-led environment.

Online Communities

With the rise of the internet and social media, online communities have emerged as a place for shut-ins to connect with others. Online forums and chat rooms provide a safe space for people to share their experiences and offer support to one another. Social media platforms also offer opportunities for shut-ins to connect with others and build relationships without leaving their homes. However, it is essential to note that online communities should not replace professional help or in-person social interactions.

Employment Opportunities

One of the challenges faced by shut-ins is finding employment. Many hikikomori lack the necessary skills and experience to enter the workforce, making it difficult for them to find jobs. However, some companies have recognized this issue and are working to create employment opportunities specifically for shut-ins. These companies offer flexible working arrangements and training programs tailored to the needs of shut-ins, providing them with a chance to re-enter the workforce and build their skills.

Continued Research

While there has been significant progress in understanding and addressing the issue of shut-ins in Japan, there is still much research that needs to be done. Future studies could focus on the long-term effects of being a shut-in and the impact on mental health, physical health, and overall well-being. Additionally, research could explore different approaches to treatment and prevention, including the role of community support and online resources.


The issue of shut-ins in Japan is a complex and multifaceted problem that requires a comprehensive approach to address. While there is no single solution, progress has been made in recognizing the issue and providing support to those affected. By continuing to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and provide access to resources and support, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society for all individuals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.