An Ongoing Adolescence

1116 WordsJun 30, 20165 Pages
Translated to its literal meaning “pulling in” or “withdrawal” (Grisafe 2012), hikikomori is a Japanese phenomenon that has been a prominent social issue for years. First coming to light in1998, Japanese physiatrist, Tamaki Saito introduced the mental health issue in his book Hikikomori: An ongoing adolescence (Senju 2013). Today, the issue is increasingly worrying for not only Japan, but other international countries as young to middle aged men and women continue to drive towards the trend of complete reclusive behavior and acute social withdrawal. As of today, over one million people in Japan are hikikomori. A person who is defined as a hikikomori is one who withdraws from society for more than 6 months, usually hiding in their bedroom…show more content…
Due to their parent’s high expectations to succeed in school, many victims may choose to isolate themselves as failure in school and a lack of social support can keep the hikikomori locked away for years. In Japan there is extreme pressure to get into a good university and get a well-paid job. For some, failing to do so results in people shutting themselves in. A large aspect of Japan’s enormous pressure on students comes from the entrance exams that students are required to take to get into specific junior high schools, high schools and universities. Failure to gain entry is a leading factor in becoming a hikikomori. The work required to do well in the infamously difficult entrance exams consists of extended hours of study and cramming schools, otherwise known as gakushū juku(学習塾)or juku (塾) for short (Suzuki 2013). These fast paced, late night schools leave students with minimal hours of sleep and social time and extended period of study and cramming. Approximately 60% of all Japanese high school students attend juku (Cram Schools n.d.). Gogatsu-byō (May Disease, 五月病) is another school related motive of the hikikomori. It is when one doesn’t know how to cope with a change in their school or work environment, which results in overwhelming stress. It is closely related with depression. The
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