1. Tori Szczesniak says:

    Wow, what a fascinating, engaging article. I love your style and tone. It really works for a blog-style post. I had no idea the hikikomori existed. I like that you say that “seclusion is a very Japanese response” and then back it up with good information. I want to see some more information on what exactly the hikikomori do, how do they feel, their perspectives on why they are a hikki… a little profile or snapshot into their day. Plus, a caption for the sweatshirt/computer contraption. Do they need to be in darkness? Why does this thing exist? I also think it’s interesting that the majority of hikki are male, however I would not be able to answer that discussion question confidently with the information presented in the article, because I know nothing about the topic. I think giving an average profile of a shut-in type or some average facts and figures would be the most useful thing to bulk up your post 🙂

  2. Dylan, this is an interesting topic indeed. I wasn’t sure about your statement that this phenomenon was due to the “nail that sticks out gets hammered” thing, because it doesn’t seem to be a normal thing, and I don’t think parents feeling their parents was a failure is normal either! At least I would hope not. The main thing I was wondering though was how this compared to other countries, which I think would clarify the Japanese cultural values involved in the phenomenon. Of course, in the U.S. we have the phenomenon of basement-dwellers, which are not at all a huge part of the population, but seem to be very similar to this. In fact, I have been reading recently about people notificing a general trend of delayed adolescence in the U.S., namely, young college grads just sort of bumming around not following the preordained career/marriage/family path. This phenomenon has also been on the rise in Europe, due to higher levels of unemployment. Especially in Italy, it is becoming more and more common for young adults to stay with their families, though this seems to be more practical reasons, and more females participate as well. I’m not sure if you want to go in that direction, but I feel that it could provide an interesting perspective and make the overall argument more relatable to Western readers. I Googled “young adults staying at home unemployment italy” and found a ton of documents related to the topic so maybe it that would help. You could also discuss whether these phenomenons are a case of parallel development or whether it’s a general trend that has developed in young adults around the world… Anyhow, those are just some thoughts. Hope that helps!