Hikikomori adolescence without end pdf

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hikikomori adolescence without end pdf

Hikikomori: Adolescence without End by Tamaki Saitō

This is the first English translation of a controversial Japanese best seller that made the public aware of the social problem of hikikomori, or “withdrawal”—a phenomenon estimated by the author to involve as many as one million Japanese adolescents and young adults who have withdrawn from society, retreating to their rooms for months or years and severing almost all ties to the outside world. Saitō Tamaki’s work of popular psychology provoked a national debate about the causes and extent of the condition.

Since Hikikomori was published in Japan in 1998, the problem of social withdrawal has increasingly been recognized as an international one, and this translation promises to bring much-needed attention to the issue in the English-speaking world. According to the New York Times, “As a hikikomori ages, the odds that he’ll re-enter the world decline. Indeed, some experts predict that most hikikomori who are withdrawn for a year or more may never fully recover. That means that even if they emerge from their rooms, they either won’t get a full-time job or won’t be involved in a long-term relationship. And some will never leave home. In many cases, their parents are now approaching retirement, and once they die, the fate of the shut-ins—whose social and work skills, if they ever existed, will have atrophied—is an open question.”

Drawing on his own clinical experience with hikikomori patients, Saitō creates a working definition of social withdrawal and explains its development. He argues that hikikomori sufferers manifest a specific, interconnected series of symptoms that do not fit neatly with any single, easily identifiable mental condition, such as depression.

Rejecting the tendency to moralize or pathologize, Saitō sensitively describes how families and caregivers can support individuals in withdrawal and help them take steps toward recovery. At the same time, his perspective sparked contention over the contributions of cultural characteristics—including family structure, the education system, and gender relations—to the problem of social withdrawal in Japan and abroad.

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Published 12.06.2019

Japan's modern-day hermits: The world of hikikomori

Hikikomori: Adolescence without End

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Shakaiteki Hikikomori copyright by Sait Tamaki. English translation copyright by the Regents of the University of Minnesota All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without theprior written permission of the publisher. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN hc : alk. Social isolationJapan. Social isolation.


When first published in , this book struck a major nerve in Japan and quickly became a best seller. Although the author, Sait Tamaki, is currently well known as a major cultural critic and one of the foremost Japanese experts on the psychological problems of youth, at the time he published this book he was still relatively unknown. Sait had graduated from the medical school at Tsukuba University in with a grounding in Lacanian psychiatry and was working as a therapist in Sfkai Sasaki Hospital in Funabashi, just to the east of Tokyo, when he was struck by a recurring problem among his patients. As he describes in this book, he found himself amazed at the numbers of parents and relatives who came in to consult with him about children who hid themselves away, retreated from school and work, and refused to go outside. These adolescents and young adults had ceased interacting in society and instead stayed nervously cooped up at home with few connections to the outside world.


  1. Claire H. says:

    Hikikomori : adolescence without end (eBook, ) [inti-revista.org]

  2. Hayden S. says:

    Book Review Hikikomori: Adolescence Without End Saitō Tamaki; (translated by Jeffrey Angles) Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, September , Volume

  3. David T. says:

    Hikikomori: Adolescence without End by Tamaki Saitō

  4. Maryse M. says:

    Drawing on his own clinical experience with hikikomori patients, Saito Tamaki creates a working definition of social withdrawal and explains its development. "First published in Japan in by PHP Institute, Inc. [as Shakaiteki hikikomori: owaranai shishunki].".

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