Youth Shut-Ins


Shut-ins are a relatively new phenomenon in Japan and occur mostly in men. Shut-ins are often depressed young men who drop out from school and instead shut themselves in their room. They are often characterized as being anti-social, favoring internet interactions, having interests such as anime, manga, and computer games. These people have often been the victims of bullying, and because of the intense pressures to conform, some adolescents find it unbearable to continue being part of society. Instead, they decide to stay in their homes.

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From: An Investigation about School Refusal and School dropout in Senior High Schools by Yougo Teachers

Summery: Cases of high school truancy and high school dropouts becoming shut-ins are expected to rise. This study tries to better understand the condition of truancy and of high school students that leave mid-term. In 2004,17,211 high school students were studied, with the help of special education teachers, concerning the number of students that are either absent for long periods of time (“absentee students”), refuse to go to school, frequently go to the nurse’s office (for non-medical needs), or completely drop out. The results show that 1.1% of students are absentee students, and are found to be most common in sophomores. Truant students make up 1.2% of the student population, with most of those students, 50.5% of them, in the same grade. The numbers of students that spend an inordinate amount of time at the school nurse’s office make up 0.2% of the student body, and their numbers were roughly the same in each grade. Student dropouts make up 1.2% and were most common during sophomore year.

Within this group of students – absentees, truants, and dropouts – some can be considered “shut-ins”. Truants as well as the dropouts’ 1.2% can be appropriately assumed to be “shut-ins.” Due to the high number of sophomores that are absentee students, truants, and dropouts, and, considering the length of time some students have been truant, the official number of dropouts will likely increase, as well as the number of dropouts becoming “shut-ins” to increase.


“Hikikomori” Among Young Adults in Japan

  • A study describing the difference between traditional Hikikomori, those with mental disorders, and Hikikomori with High-functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders (HPDD).

Hikikomori: Investigations into the phenomenon of acute social withdrawal in contemporary

  • A study done by the University of Hawai’i Manoa that investigates the origin of hikikomori and addresses how to define the condition of hikikomori.

About Shut-Ins

  • Talks about what “shut-ins” are and chronicles the lives of various people living as shut-ins.

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