"Hikikomori is a state in which, due to some emotional distress encountered at school, in the family or society in general, an individual becomes self-defensive and refuses to go out of his own house or room. After a certain period of time, the individual may become stricken with a feeling that he has to do something about his situation, but often, the person himself or his family are unable to seize any opportunity to go out, the feeling of resignation grows, and their condition deteriorates. As years go by, the individual gradually loses the will to go outside on his own initiative. Only a third party can break through this odd stagnation in the family. By visiting the individual repeatedly, a third party unravels their locked emotions. Eventually, a will to improve the situation will return."
" Generally, Hikikomori is considered “unreasonable behavior” like obsessive dependency or selfishness, unless diagnosed as a mental illness. However, once you spend some time with the Hikikomori youth, you’ll see there’s always a cause for their behavior, whether they realize it or not. They will not be able to emerge from their seclusion until they resolve their internal conflicts. They need personal time in order to come to terms with who they are. What matters then, is the reaction of the people (adults) around them. Adults should have compassion and warmheartedly accept the youth who are suffering and trying to reconcile themselves with their own nature.
As long as the issue of Hikikomori is looked down upon and seen as something negative, it is impossible to move forward. I believe that our society should pay more attention to the effects of industrialization and the development of the support system that is required to bring the Hikikomori out of their isolated world. "
by Ms. Yoshie Masuda, Free-school RINGO-NOKI and KOSIGAYA RARGO
(Kenta Negishi, the star of the film, and Kanae Matsumura were both students of APPLE TREE SCHOOL, Sohko Kanou is a teacher there. You can read their profiles in CAST)
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