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The Hikikomori

The Hikikomori in Japan are people who have, for a plethora of reasons, retreated from life. Apparently, Japan, like many modern countries is experiencing a crisis of loneliness. The Hikikomori are self isolated because they believe they don't "fit in" to traditional Japanese society. However, it appears that it isn't the result of traditional Japanese society per se that is the problem but rather the inability to navigate a fusion of traditional society and modernity.

Expectations in Japan have shifted for the youth who no longer want to get married and have children. This is a crisis for Japan as projections for a stable replacement population looks ominous. Women entered the workforce in Japan in the 1990s meaning more competition as well as self reliance. This appeals to the liberal mindset in Japan but it is having drastic consequences with suicide in Japan at record numbers.

The epidemic of loneliness isn't unique to the Hikikomori as the occidental west is facing similar crises. According to data, Ireland has one of the highest male youth suicide rates per capita in the world. A growing phenomena in the West is authorities eventually finding a deceased old person in their home, left undiscovered for weeks because they had no regular visitors.

The fixation upon superficial markers of modernity such as the desire to be glamorous, gym fit and career excelling is creating a tsunami of mental health diagnoses. All of this is happening in a secularising environment where God is made absent.

While mental health always existed, and not wanting to make the past a perfect country, there was an overarching impulse to promote and safeguard "the family", which was largely extended, however modernity, like a dominant factory mass produces loneliness. It is drawn from the raw materials of a society that has rejected Christ. It is an enterprise that trades in deceptive shrinkflation and skimpflation where values and virtues are shrunken and replaced with inferior ones.

Every night at 9.00pm GMT a group called Saint's & Scholars recite the Rosary together and most nights they have a chat afterwards. They would like to invite anyone who is reading this article, and may feel lonely, to reach out to them and partake in the virtual gathering. You can just listen in if you feel nervous or would rather not speak. It may not be ideal but it is a connection to people with similar values.

And remember, even in the worst of moments, God is there, you may not think or feel it but He is. In any crisis your best friend behaves best when He is silent but actively listening, sharing your burdens.

Invitation link to the Saints & Scholars Telegram channel:


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