The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many people into some form of social isolation. But if the overwhelming majority of them had a bad experience, it did not upset the daily life of the “hikikomori”, these young Japanese for whom staying cloistered is an assumed choice… even if it was for (very) long periods.

“People withdrawn from the world… but who continue to observe it”

“The ‘hikikomori’ are mostly young men,” says psychoanalyst Natacha Vellut. They isolate themselves at home for a minimum of six months, but it can last much longer! “. If we estimate the followers of this way of life at nearly a million in Japan, there are also some, in a more marginal way, elsewhere in the world.

“It’s a phenomenon that appeared in the 1990s, underlines Natacha Vellut. It was an economically difficult period for young Japanese people, but also one of the development of information and communication technologies. These people are therefore ‘withdrawn’ from the world… which they nevertheless continue to observe via the Internet”.

Discover the daily life of these recluses in this video from our partner Brut.

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