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What are Japanese people who never leave their home?


Japanese people have a unique culture that is fascinating to the rest of the world. One aspect of this culture that has gained attention is the phenomenon of hikikomori, which translates to “pulling inward.” This term refers to Japanese individuals who withdraw from society and remain isolated in their homes for long periods, sometimes even years. In this article, we will explore the causes and consequences of hikikomori.

What is Hikikomori?

Hikikomori is a social phenomenon in Japan where individuals, typically young adults, isolate themselves from society for an extended period. They may stay in their rooms for days, weeks, or even months, without interacting with anyone outside their family. Hikikomori was first recognized as a social problem in the 1990s but is still prevalent today.

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Causes of Hikikomori

There are several reasons why individuals become hikikomori. Some people feel overwhelmed by the pressures of school or work and choose to isolate themselves from society. Others may struggle with anxiety or depression and find it challenging to interact with others. Additionally, some individuals may have experienced trauma or abuse that has led them to retreat from society.

Impact on Mental Health

Hikikomori has significant consequences for an individual’s mental health. Studies have shown that prolonged isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Additionally, hikikomori can cause physical health problems such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise, leading to obesity or other health problems.

Impact on Families

Hikikomori not only affects the individual but also their families. Parents often feel helpless and frustrated when they see their child struggling with hikikomori. They may not know how to help their child and can become socially isolated themselves.

Treatment Options

There are several treatment options available for hikikomori. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals learn coping mechanisms and develop social skills to re-enter society slowly. Additionally, medication can be prescribed to treat any underlying mental health conditions.

The Role of Technology

Technology has played a significant role in hikikomori. Many hikikomori use the internet as a way to connect with others without leaving their homes. While technology has its benefits, it can also contribute to social isolation.

Stigma around Hikikomori

Hikikomori has been stigmatized in Japanese society, with many people viewing it as a personal failure or weakness. This stigma makes it challenging for individuals struggling with hikikomori to seek help or support.

Government Response

The Japanese government has recognized hikikomori as a societal issue and has implemented various programs to address it. For example, there are support groups available for families of hikikomori individuals and counseling services available for those struggling with isolation.

The Future of Hikikomori

While hikikomori is still prevalent in Japan today, there is hope that it will decrease in the future. The Japanese government’s efforts to address the issue and raise awareness have been effective in reducing the number of cases.


Hikikomori is a complex issue with significant consequences for individuals and their families. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are several treatment options available. Additionally, reducing the stigma surrounding hikikomori can help individuals seek help and support. With continued efforts from the government and society as a whole, there is hope that hikikomori will become less prevalent in Japan in the future.

What are Japanese people who stay at home?

Hikikomori are individuals who isolate themselves from all forms of social interaction and can remain confined to their homes for years. A government study revealed that approximately 541,000 individuals, roughly 1.57% of the population, fall into this category, but many specialists believe this number may be much greater since it can take years before hikikomori seek assistance.

Is hikikomori a mental disorder?

There is debate over whether hikikomori qualifies as a psychiatric diagnosis, but most clinicians in Japan view it as a disorder. This was reported on January 11, 2016.

What causes someone to be a hikikomori?

The exact cause of hikikomori is not clearly understood. However, many experts suggest that a stressful event can trigger socially avoidant behavior, which can then lead to hikikomori. Additionally, research shows that dysfunctional family dynamics or past traumatic experiences may also be associated with hikikomori.

Is hikikomori autism?

There is a suggestion that Hikikomori, which refers to a severe form of social withdrawal, may be associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Why do hikikomoris stay inside?

The issue of severe social isolation in Japanese youth became apparent in the 1990s, a time when Japan faced economic difficulties that prevented many young people from achieving their goals. As a result, some individuals felt ashamed and chose to hide away from society, with some never re-emerging.

What age can Japanese people live alone?

As of April 1st, 2022, the minimum age to rent a property is 18 years old and those below this age must obtain parental consent. Additionally, individuals must provide documentation showing that they are financially capable of paying rent.

One potential solution to hikikomori is improving the work-life balance in Japan. The country has a notorious reputation for its demanding work culture, with long hours and little time off. This can lead to burnout and mental health issues, which may contribute to hikikomori. By encouraging a healthier work-life balance, individuals may feel less overwhelmed and more able to participate in society.

Another approach to addressing hikikomori is through community outreach programs. These programs can provide support and resources for individuals struggling with social isolation, such as job training and mental health services. By reaching out to individuals who are at risk of becoming hikikomori or who are already struggling with social isolation, these programs can help prevent or alleviate the issue.

It’s essential to note that hikikomori is not unique to Japan. While the phenomenon may have originated in Japan, it has been observed in other countries, such as South Korea and France. As such, it’s essential to continue researching and addressing social isolation worldwide to ensure that everyone has the support they need to participate in society fully.

In conclusion, hikikomori is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to address effectively. By reducing stigma, improving work-life balance, and providing community outreach programs, we can help individuals struggling with social isolation re-enter society and improve their mental health and overall well-being.

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