Hikikomori: How the Youth of Japan are Living as a Shut-in

Pratyusha Majumder

Post Graduate Fellow, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi, India. E-mail: pratyushamajumder5@gmail.com


Hikikomori in Japan is a condition in which affected people want to withdraw from society and often do not leave home for days. First identified in Japan in the late 1990s, current studies suggest that the condition is far more widespread than previously thought. Some researchers saw the growth of the withdrawal phenomenon in 1980, and it is linked to the collapse of the “bubble economy” of the generation and the beginning of the recession in Japan in the 1990s. However, withdrawal has recently become a global phenomenon primarily found in developed countries such as South Korea, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. This work provides a detailed analysis of hikikomori. Starting with the definition, it discusses explicitly the type, stage, common traits, causes, impact, and more recently, the impact of covid-19 on hikikomori.

Keywords Hikkikomori . Japanese youth in shut-in . Withdrawal phenomenon .