1. Very interesting article!

    I was aware of some of the issues that were in Japan such as the hikikomori and the freeters but it was interesting to learn about this group called the NEETs. It is interesting to think that there are versions of these people in almost every country but why is it so popularized in Japan? Is it because of the culture of Japan and its homogeneous nature? Also, are there are laws or measures put into place to start the education of young Japanese people to transition into the workplace? Do you think that the rigorous high school education with its late night classes and prep schools are factors in the high dropout rate? If you could implement measures in order to better incorporate the younger Japanese generation into the working world, what would you do? Just some curious thoughts that I came across when reading your article!

  2. I feel you did a tremendous job introducing different concepts of worker/class statuses in Japan.

    I recently heard from an exchange student from Japan that, the Japanese college students undergo extreme levels of stress and pressure during their junior year to find a job. It is widely expected for the companies to hire the students in their junior year, and the students who was unable to sign contracts typically remain unemployed until they graduate from college, and oftentimes much later as well. It is a very sad practice indeed, as they is a growing number of NEETs but the economy cannot accommodate them. On the other hand, it was my previous understanding that the Freeters in Japan are happy, self-sufficient workers. Costs of living in Japan is substantially high, but I thought the Freeters were paid decent amount of money that some people choose to live off of part-time no-skills-needed jobs for their entire lives. It was interesting to see that it became excessively difficult to even get a part-time or seasonal job these days. I guess my question would be — is the government doing anything to provide more jobs or share some burdens? And I can only imagine how hopeless/helpless Japanese young adults must have been feeling, but how do other generations think about this important social issue? Do children dream of becoming a good Freeter? Are middle-aged salarymen too busy to care and preoccupied to barely hold onto their jobs? Do middle-aged housewives who are also interested in part-time jobs to contribute to the family income find the Freeters in their 20’s to be threatening? I think this topic really brings a lot of interesting questions.

    Thank you for sharing your insight on this topic and Japan’s current economic status.

  3. mazuschlag says:

    We’ve discussed previously in class how various social or cultural movements have received vastly different receptions from right and left wing sides of the Japanese political spectrum. Does the same hold true for NEETs, Freeters, and Hikikomori? Hikikomori and NEETs have obvious negative connotations, but I could also see Freeters receiving praise for their individualism in pursuing freedom/creativity over the harsh and conformist nature of large corporate jobs. That seems like something Americans see as almost necessary for any creative genius: a period of rough times, or working in minimum wage jobs as he or she works furiously on some creative work.

    Are their any program for helping Hikikomori? It sounds like they would need a certain level of parental help to function, so I would imagine that there would be some program to help parents whose kid may be Hikikomori. I’m also curious if this is more prevalent among children without any siblings. Does family size or where the family lives affect the rate of Hikikomori? I mentioned this on another post, but I’m curious to see if the rates vary between urban and rural areas.

  4. lflucerocarter says:

    Nice article, it’s cool that you’re focusing on all three of these subgroups together. What specifically links them together, their tendency to break away from societal expectations for adults, or something else? It’s clear that there’s potentially a lot of overlap between hikikomori and NEETs due to the fact that they don’t have jobs, but what links these two groups to Freeters? And are these three groups connected to Otaku, as well?

    Also, it might be interesting to investigate how these three groups are portrayed in the media and in fiction, and in what ways their portrayal is similar or different. A manga/anime that you might look into for portrayal in fiction is “Princess Jellyfish”, where the main character and most of the supporting cast are NEETs.