“Last Call” by Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker, June 24, 2013.
As a followup to the recent posting on the increasing dominance of women in today’s society (“A Society of Bees,” 6/17 posting), the current issue of The New Yorker mentions the phenomenon of hikikomori in Japan.
Hikikomori are reclusive young adults who voluntarily withdraw into social isolation. Japan has hundreds of thousands of them, mostly young men who rarely leave their rooms. They play video games, surf the Web, and are served meals on trays by their doting parents. The hikikomori syndrome often begins by a failure of some sort, such as acceptance into a particular school or to land a particular job.
I am becoming more this way, myself, except no one brings me meals. The lifestyle has a lot to desire, I kid you not. I wonder if the Japanese have a word for “old guy hikikomori who gets his own meals?”