Hikikomori Timeline

English | Japanese


  • 1970s-1980s: Japan experiences an unprecedented high number of high school dropouts
  • Mid 1980s: Dr. Tamaki Saito begins noticing a rise in lethargic, unresponsive, anti-social clients (later termed hikikomori)
  • 1988 – 1989: the “Otaku Murders;” Tsutomu Miyazaki, a hikikomori, over a two year period, murders and mutilates 4 girls
  • November 13 1990: “The Niigata girl confinement incident;” 17-year–old Nobuyuki Sato, a hikikomori, kidnaps 9-year-old Fusako Sano
  • 1990s: Media identifies hikikomori as a social problem
  • January 28, 2000: Police find and rescue Fusako Sano from Sato’s apartment
  • May 3, 2000: a 17-year-old youth hijacks a bus and kills one passenger
  • 2000: Japanese Ministry of Health and Labor conducts its first official survey to determine the number of hikikomori cases. 6,151 cases
  • 2003: first extensive study on the hikikomori phenomenon and it’s roots are explored
  • 2004: Tamago debuts, a film that chronicles the life of a fictional hikikomori