Japan The Missing Million

| October 30, 2002

Japan: The Missing Million, Phil Rees, BBC
Up to a million Japanese teens and twenty-somethings are refusing to come out of their rooms, reports Phil Rees in the BBC. Doctors are blaming the epidemic on a social disorder known as hikikomori(Japanese for withdraw from society), caused by severe academic pressures and an inability to talk to their families. Some observers are blaming traditional Japanese poetry and music that celebrates the nobility of solitude, or the fact that it's not unusual for young men to remain under their parents care until they're in their 30s and 40s in some cases. Hikikomori is more likely to strike eldest sons, according to some studies, and the disorder does not exist outside of Japan.
--Nick Garafola
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