Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anime Word of the Week - Hikikomori (ひきこもり or 引き籠もり)

Hikikomori (ひきこもり or 引き籠もり)

...literally "pulling away, being confined", i.e., "acute social withdrawal") is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive people who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement because of various personal and social factors in their lives. The term hikikomori refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general as well as to people belonging to this societal group. In Western terminology this group may include individuals suffering from social phobia or social anxiety problems. This could also be due to agoraphobia, avoidant personality disorder or painful or extreme shyness. There are also Hikikomoris who may choose this lifestyle for purely cultural reasons.

Hikikomori can be viewed as a social phobia similar to agoraphobia. In the Anime series Welcome to the N.H.K. and Wallflower, the main characters, Tatsuhiro Satō and Nakahara Sunako, are hikikomori.

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