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Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Are hikikomori (shut-ins) part of a troubling social trend or harmless misfits?


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Steve Van der Westeisen
25

I think it's built into the culture here, because the country is so populated. It's not an outdoor culture like Australia, they live in small apartments, they have small rooms. The point that it becomes unhealthy is the point where their time with friends is compromised.

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Eileen Iwanami
Student, 16

It gets worse during high school. I've heard about people isolating themselves and their lives are ruined. I think high school and teenage years are the most important times of your life when you learn how to socialize.

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Stephanie Ikeda
Student, 16

I guess it's okay to be alone sometimes to clear your thoughts, but if you lock yourself up, then you'll become too different to blend in again. It becomes dangerous when people can't communicate the anger they are feeling. When you start at our age it becomes even more dangerous.

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Catalin Munteanu
Finance, 26

Everybody needs to spend time to themselves to review and reassess, but if spending time by yourself is caused by a fear of society or of facing daily responsibilities, it needs to be looked in to.

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Denise Ota
Student,17

We can't all be extroverts because we're all different. If the person feels more comfortable in their room, depending on their personality, maybe it's okay for them. It might be seen as unhealthy from the outside world, but that's a judgment that other people make.

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Eva Kestner
Student, 16

I think it's totally unhealthy the moment you stop communicating with people, even if those people don't think they're unhealthy. They have to learn that you get lot of benefits from communication.



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