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- (uncountable) A Japanese phenomenon whereby an individual becomes a recluse from society, typically remaining isolated in a single room at home for a very long period.
- (countable) A reclusive person of this kind.
- [2018 November 13, Kate Julian, “Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?”, in The Atlantic:
- The new taxonomy of Japanese sexlessness also includes terms for groups such as hikikomori (“shut-ins”), parasaito shinguru (“parasite singles,” people who live with their parents beyond their 20s), and otaku (“obsessive fans,” especially of anime and manga)—all of whom are said to contribute to sekkusu shinai shokogun (“celibacy syndrome”).]
- 2019 June 6, Motoko Rich, “Japan’s Extreme Recluses Already Faced Stigma. Now, After Knifings, They’re Feared.”, in The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331:
- Many prefectural governments operate support centers for families of hikikomori, but they are staffed by nonspecialists. The priority is to help prise hikikomori out of their rooms and get them back to work, a solution that may leave psychological issues unaddressed.
hikikomori n (indeclinable)