6,13,000 older Japanese live in isolation


Until recently, ‘hikikomori’ was thought to be an issue affecting only the young

More than 6,00,000 Japanese people over 40 are living in complete isolation from society, staying at home for more than six months without social interaction, the government estimated on Friday.

The phenomenon is so widespread in Japan it even has its own name — hikikomori — defined as someone who does not go to school or work for six months and does not interact with anyone outside his family during that time.

75% of them male

A government survey published on Friday estimated there were 6,13,000 hikikomori aged between 40 and 64, nearly three-quarters of whom were male. “The number was bigger than we had imagined. Hikikomori isn’t an issue only for younger people,” said a Cabinet Office official in charge of the survey. Until recently, it was thought to be an issue mainly affecting teenagers and people in their 20s but ageing Japan is seeing a growing number of middle aged hikikomori cloistering themselves away for longer periods of time. Around half of those included in the survey had been reclusive for more than seven years, the government said.....Read more

 

Source web page: The hindu


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