March 30, 2019

According to estimates by the Japanese government, More than 6,00,000 Japanese people over 40 are living in complete isolation from society, staying at home for more than six months without social interaction.


  • The phenomenon is so widespread in Japan it even has its own name — hikikomori. 

  • Meaning: Hikikomori is defined as someone who does not go to school or work for six months and does not interact with anyone outside his family during that time. 

  • Key findings of recent government survey: 
    • There were 6,13,000 hikikomori aged between 40 and 64. 

    • Nearly 75% of hikikomori were male. 

    • Until recently, it was thought to be an issue mainly affecting teenagers and people in their 20s but ageing Japan is seeing a growing number of middle aged hikikomori isolating themselves away for longer periods of time. 

    • Around half of those included in the survey had been reclusive for more than 7 years. 

    • Many of the hikikomori are thought to be financially dependent on their ageing parents. 

  • Comment: High-pressure, conformist and workaholic Japan, places a huge amount of pressure on individuals. It shows that Japanese society is tough to live in. 

Source : The Hindu