Meaning of hikikomori in English:


Pronunciation /hɪˌkɪkə(ʊ)ˈmɔːri/


mass noun
  • 1(in Japan) the extreme avoidance of social contact, especially by adolescent males.

    ‘Western psychologists compare hikikomori with social anxiety and agoraphobia, a fear of open places.’
    • ‘A syndrome known as hikikomori, in which the outside world is shunned, is wreaking havoc on young people in Japan, a country known for its communal values.’
    • ‘The decision is difficult, given that he the hikikomori is a profoundly circular and fantastic concept.’
    • ‘Naoki Ogi, head of the private Centre for Clinical Research on School Development, in western Tokyo, estimates that as many as 800,000 people across Japan are victims of hikikomori.’
    • ‘Known in Japan as ' hikikomori ', or social withdrawal, it is a problem that has confused and confounded a country in which family ties are the bed-rock of society.’
    • ‘The film certainly treads familiar waters, adding horror thrills to that increasingly significant social problem of the hikikomori (acute social withdrawal), but the cast is good enough.’
    • ‘Japan's health ministry classifies hikikomori as a social phenomenon rather than a disease and victims also display symptoms of insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, agoraphobia and persecution complexes.’
    • ‘There's another intriguing documentary in the BBC's Correspondent series on Sunday: Japan: The Missing Million about hikikomori: a million Japanese boys who won't come out of their rooms.’
    • ‘Susumu Ito is one of those who has to live with hikikomori on a daily basis.’
    • ‘Yuichi Hattori, M.A., a psychologist currently treating 18 patients with the disorder, believes that hikikomori is caused by emotionally neglectful parenting.’
    • ‘For now, Eastern and Western psychologists agree only that hikikomori is unique to Japan and has serious ramifications for both generations.’
    • ‘The very idea of the hikikomori is profoundly circular.’
    • ‘Shutting Themselves In by Maggie Jones, about the agoraphobic Japanese hikikomori syndrome.’
    • ‘Visible in news reports and conjured in fans ' feverish minds, the hikikomori is now spectacle, exactly what he can't imagine.’
    • ‘Be sure to look at the viewer comments section where numerous respondents challenged the BBC claim that hikikomori was a peculiarly Japanese phenomenon.’
    • ‘Teenagers labeled hikikomori, will sometimes hole themselves up in their rooms for months with no social contact.’
    • ‘Most consider hikikomori a problem within the family, rather than a psychological illness.’
    • ‘Some 40 percent of hikikomori are below the age of 21.’
    • ‘Tamaki Saito, the psychiatrist who coined the term hikikomori believes there are more than a million cases.’
    • ‘He calls it hikikomori, a coined-term for ' social withdrawal ', and has painted a portrait of the hikikomori-youth which mirrors the term ' couch-potato '.’
    1. 1.1count noun A person who avoids social contact.
      ‘A 17-year-old hikikomori sufferer killed a passenger after leaving his self-imposed exile and hijacking a bus.’
      • ‘Recounting his own experience, he said: "It's difficult to say when my son first began to be a hikikomori.’
      • ‘While most hikikomori sufferers are merely anti-social, the condition has led to a number of violent crimes.’
      • ‘Indeed, it is both haven and trap for the client, who describes himself as a hikikomori (extreme recluse).’
      recluse, introvert, lone wolf, hermit, solitary, misanthrope, outsider


Japanese, literally ‘staying indoors, (social) withdrawal’.