A CASE STUDY OF A CHINESE ‘HIKIKOMORIAN’ IN CANADA – THEORIZING THE PROCESS OF HIKIKOMORIZATION

Stella Suk-ching CHONG, Kar-Mon CHAN

Abstract


The term ‘hikikomori’ originates from Japan and means ‘acute social withdrawal’. This study intends to investigate into the causes of hikikomori which is increasing worldwide phenomenon. The methodology is a case study approach located in an interpretive paradigm. The data was mainly collected through e-mails with the participant and phone conversations with his mother. The participant was a ‘hiki­ko­morian’ who was invited to investigate his own problem and further to be the co-author of this paper. The literature findings and this case study were then conceptualized into a more wide-ranging framework in compre­hen­ding the process of hikikomorization. The result appears to show that hikikomorization involves three processes: first, a predisposed introverted personality;  second,   the   effects   of   multiple environmental factors such as family, school and society; and finally, the trigger point, such as the end of schooling or a stressful event. The study offers implications for other hiki­ko­mo­rians in better understanding of their problems and for practitioners working with reclusive ado­lescents and their families.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ogino T. Managing categorization and social withdrawal in Japan: rehabilitation process in a private support group for hikikomorians. International Journal of Japanese Sociology 2004;13:120-33.

Furlong A. The Japanese hikikomori phenomenon: acute social withdrawl among young people. The Sociological Review 2008;56(2):309-25.

Kaneko S. Japan’s ‘socially withdrawn youths’ and time constraints in Japanese society. Management and conceptualization of time in a support group for ‘hikikomori’. Time & Society 2006;15(2/3):233-49.

Hirashima N. Psychopathology of social withdrawal in Japan. Japan Medical Association Journal 2001;44(6):260-2.

Jones M. Shutting themselves in. The New York Times Magazine [serial online] 2006 Jan 15 [cited 2009 June 5]. Available from: URL:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/ magazine/15japanese.html? pagewanted=all

Ng H. Melancholy group: how hermits of both genders were refined. Discovery 2008;12:52-3. [Chinese]

Ying FS, Ko PY, Ha WM. A miniature hikikomori encyclopedia. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Christian Services; 2008. [Chinese]

Sakai M, Ishikawa S, Takizawa M, Sato H, Sakano Y. The state of hikikomori from a family’s point of view: statistical survey and the role of psychological intervention. Japanese Journal of Counseling Science 2004;37(2):168-79.

Hattori Y. Social withdrawal in Japanese youth: a case study of thirty-five hikikomori clients. Journal of Trauma Practice 2005;4(3/4):181-201.

Lau TS. Hiding: the risk of youth in a technological era. Youth discovery 2007;3:40-2. [Chinese]

Barr CW. Young Japanese retreat to life of seclusion. Christian Science Monitor 2000;92(186):1.

Fung LT. Hikikomorians – Asian’s exclusive products. Sing Tao Daily 2005 May 13;Sect. E:10. [Chinese].

Sakamoto N, Martin RG, Kumano H, Kuboki T, Al-Adawi S. Hikikomori, is it a culture-reactive or culture-bound syndrome? Nidotherapy and a clinical vignette from Oman. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 2005;35(2):191-8.

Wong CW. The phenomena of withdrawal and rebelliousness under society’s rejection. Christian Service Bulletin [serial online] 2006 [cited 2009 June 5]; 272. Available from:URL:http://www.hkcs.org/cnews/ c272/c2720401. htm [Chinese]

Ito M. Mobile phones, Japanese youth, and the replacement of social contact. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2005¬;31¬(2):¬131¬-48.

Borovoy A. Japan’s hidden youths: mainstreaming the emotionally distressed in Japan. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 2008;32(4):552-76.

Zielenziger M. Shutting out the sun. How Japan created its own lost generation. New York (NY): Nan A. Talese, Doubleday; 2006.

Teo AR. A new form of social withdrawal in Japan: a review of hikikomori. International Journal of Social Psychiatry [serial online] 2009 [cited 2009 June 30]. Available from: URL:http://isp.sagepub. com/content/56/2/178

Hoffman M. Nonprofits in Japan help 'shut-ins' get out into the open. The Japan Times Online. The Japan Times 2012 [cited 2012 April 3]. Available from: URL: http://www. japantimes.co. jp/text/ fd20111009bj. html




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10215-011-0028-0

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Article Metrics Graph

No metrics found.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.