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Islands of Solitude: A Psychiatrist’s View of the “Hikikomori”Sekiguchi Hiroshi

Some estimate that up to 1 million people have withdrawn from society in Japan and are living holed up in their rooms. A psychiatrist who has worked with these recluses and their families for many years presents a first-hand view of what their lives are really like.

Young Japanese Adults Leave Home Less Frequently Than Seniors: Survey (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)—Japanese people in their twenties leave their homes less frequently than those in their seventies, a recent mobility survey has shown. The survey, conducted by East Japan Marketing & Communications Inc., also showed that over 60% of respondents in their twenties admit having a tendency to isolate themselves from society. "They can now do shopping and many othe…

“Hikikomori”: Social Recluses in the Shadows of an Aging JapanIshikawa Kiyoshi

The phenomenon of hikikomori—long-term social withdrawal—came to the fore as an issue involving young Japanese in the late 1990s. The situation is becoming even more serious as the recluses advance in age.

Alexithymia: The Emotional Disconnect Behind the Mask of NormalcySaitō Satoru

Psychiatrist Saitō Satoru discusses a mental disorder in which individuals become incapable of identifying or expressing their own emotions as they force themselves to appear normal before others. He draws on both his personal clinical experience and the narrative of the award-winning novel Konbini ningen by Murata Sayaka.

A Growing Demographic: The Isolated and Non-employedGenda Yūji

Despite indications that Japan may finally be heading for an economic recovery, one serious malady continues to afflict the country: a rapidly increasing population of unmarried and unemployed people aged 20 to 59. Professor Genda Yūji of the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Social Science, who introduced the concept of the “Solitary Non-Employed Person,” sounds the alarm.

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