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Hikikomori and related things

nekonyan

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Hi everyone!

I was just curoious about your thoughts on hikikomori (as a phenomenon). Is it common where you live? Do you call it something else?

I live in Sweden, and we've seen a similar development here as in Japan, even though we call it "hemmasittande" (literally "sitting at home"). The meaning is basically the same though. It's about (mostly) young people staying at home, unable to go to school/work for various reasons.

It's been noted that many of these individuals are on the autistic spectrum and/or have ADHD, and I was wondering if it could be the same in Japan.

What do you think?
 

OoTmaster

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I think in the US we usually refer to people like this as either deadbeats or parasites. The second of course being more of an insult than the other. Normally we'll only call them a parasite if they contribute nothing at all while receiving food, housing, etc from another, when they're of the age to do this themselves. Moocher and leech are also common.
 

Buntaro

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Nekoyan,

I agree with what you are saying. The term I would use in English is "social anxiety". Perhaps the most famous case of this in America is the billionaire Howard Hughes, who suffered greatly from his condition and died a terrible death.

Such people suffer greatly and need our deepest sympathy and understanding.
 

nice gaijin

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I think in the US we usually refer to people like this as either deadbeats or parasites. The second of course being more of an insult than the other. Normally we'll only call them a parasite if they contribute nothing at all while receiving food, housing, etc from another, when they're of the age to do this themselves. Moocher and leech are also common.
I don't think those terms are appropriate for most forms of hikikomori, which translate more as "shut-in." The term itself doesn't evoke reasons behind the behavior or its outcomes. I've known people who have experienced social anxiety that resulted in becoming hikikomori for a while.

I think the phenomena you have in mind is NEET/ニート, which is originally a British term for "Not in Education Employment or Training," describing a group of people that are not only unemployed but are not interested in seeking employment either (fun fact: in the states we'd call them technically "underemployed," and they don't count against our unemployment rates so it's hard to know how many people fall into this category in the US). Apparently this term has gained traction and taken on new meaning in Japan, with some incidental overlap with hikikomori and otaku culture.
 

OoTmaster

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I don't really know if there something we really use for the term. I thought hikikomori and NEET were synonymous. Shut-in seems to fit it more though. I just mostly know terms I've heard a lot from people I know. I know a lot of people that live near and around moochers.
 

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