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Hikikomori

Antonizoon edited this page Aug 20, 2014 · 3 revisions

(This article is entirely made of unsourced opinion, and should therefore be taken as fiction even though parts of it are quite real.)

It's big in Japan

The term "Hikikomori" defines a small and sadly proud part of the population on 4-ch, if they are to be believed. I think they're just happy to use a Japanese term to describe themselves and like the much-dreaded Otaku, this usage is entirely out of line. Basically hikikomori are (exclusively Japanese) shut-ins with a common theme: the little bastard gets traumatized at school (usually) or some shit and never leave their bedrooms due to some unspecified social anxiety. Basically, they fear other children being mean to them. Try as you may, it's difficult to get an interview with a real-life case of this "disease." However, shots of parents sounding helpless and looking grim with a child asleep on an unmade bed in the background are quite easy to come by in the world of hikikomori-hunting (or The Least Dangerous Catch). There's little sense in actually talking to the actual afflicted though, because they're fucking ridiculous little wastes of humanity.

For whatever reason, there's a trend among a select group of Japanese parents to be extremely permissive with their children. Want to stay home from school for one hundred and sixty-three days? No problem! It's hard to pin-point exactly where things go wrong but invariably it seems the parents have little to no clue as to how actual parenting works. The previous generation had children late and well after they started a career. Parenting for the father took a back seat to working, getting drunk with co-workers, and sleeping on trains. If the mother also had a job, the child was raised by forgetful grandparents. They of course would die early in the future parent's childhood leaving them more or on their own until adulthood. With the present generation having inherited no parenting skills whatsoever, they're completely left clueless and with little to no support from their community either.

Japanese schools outside of major cities are shit. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. They're as underfunded and underachieving as American schools in bad districts tend to be. Within these schools there is a culture of teachers quite literally apologizing to parents for students failing or not attending. This leads the parents to believe that they are truly not at fault and given their experience, how are they to know any better? Little do they realize (or do they want to accept) is that the instructor doesn't actually have the time to round up every child and would rather have mentally disturbed little slackers stay at home. After all, at home these children will cause no further disruption to the lesson plan which is probably well behind schedule as-is.

What the do these kids do all day? Fucking nothing. Nothing. They sleep. They whine to their mothers when they're around (or sometimes not even that; some verge on entirely mute). They might have video games or comic books or toys but mostly nothing. We're talking 12-18 year-old kids acting like they're five years-old and a depressed five year-old with the flu at that. Nothing excites them. Nothing interests them. It's beyond pathetic.

Some hikikomori are in fact seriously mentally ill (schizophrenia or otherwise just out). Their isolation is simply an in-house mental institution and the polite way to deal with a family issue. That gets rid of a few cases but those I speak of here are the otherwise normal high-school students with a normal life that just up and quit one day. Rather than be given a kind word and a kick out the door, they are coddled by their parents and supported until the bitter end. We're left to wonder what's going to happen when so many dark little secrets in cramped little bedrooms all across Japan lose their parental lifelines...


As for you in America/Canada that dare to use this term for yourselves, I don't think you fully grasp what it means. Chances are you graduated from high-school. You might be a shut-in and a loner, but chances are your parents (or at least the truancy officer) were at least competent enough to see you through to a diploma or a fucking GED. This is not the case of a true hikikomori. They don't do anything. They are just arrested in infancy. If you completed at least your basic education, have friends (even on the Internet), have so much as a part-time job or ever had one, you are leaps and bounds beyond these kids. Stop insulting yourselves. Seriously.((“bfo” contributed to this article!))

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