Profile of Speakers
◆ Marco Crepaldi
A young socio-psychologist in Milan, Italy. Founded the web site “Hikikomori Italia” to respond to the increase of hikikomori in Italy, presiding liaison meetings of about 170 families. Refer to his article “What hikikomori is and what Isn’t” which was translated also in Japanese and raised big reactions.
◆ Vosot Ikeida
A middle-aged hikikomori in Tokyo, Japan. Has been a hikikomori intermittently for over 30 years. Refer to his career “Hikikomori Horoki (Odyssey of Hikikomori)“ (Japanese). What he speaks out here is his personal opinion and nothing to represent the Hikikomori News.
Continued from Round 4
We have agreed on that if a hikikomori wants to leave one’s hikikomori condition, it is agreeable that someone tries to help him or her out. However, the problem is that, there are some people who try “to help him or her out” NOT by the hikikomori’s choice. That is the terrible type of hikikomori support, which is usually called “hikidashi-ya” in Japanese.
What does that mean?
In English newspapers published in Japan, it is translated as “drawers”. But “drawers” call themselves “hikikomori supporter”.
In fact, they are tough professionals about hikikomori problems who receive expensive money, as much as ten thousand euro or so, from parents whose child is a hikikomori, persuade the hikikomori to come out of the room, break the door of the room if they don’t come out, push him or her into their car, transport to their prison-like rehabilitation center, and train hikikomoris up for cheap labour forces who work for their own organization.
They have some psychological knacks to squeeze hikikomoris out, but when the knack doesn’t work, they destroy doors of the room the hikikomori is shut in, and draw him or her out violently, so they are called “drawers”, and also “violent supporters” by us.
How terrible it is.
It is, indeed.
Their rehabilitation centers are usually located in the middle of mountains or isolated overseas, for example, in the Australian desert, where hikikomoris cannot easily escape from. Even when it is located in cities, the hikikomoris caught will be monitored all day, so they can’t escape from there anyway.
Even if a hikikomori succeeds to run away from there and rushes into a nearby police station, he or she will be only brought back to the violent supporters’ house, because the top of the drawer business is connected with the police. That case actually happened. (Refer to the article in Japanese )
It is more awful that the drawers are regarded to be doing such good jobs for the society that their tops are sometimes invited to the gorgeous parties by high-rank politicians of our government, meanwhile what they do are nothing other than violations of hikikomori’s human rights.
That is really awful. I will not permit something similar to happen in Italy.
I have continued to say that patience and comprehension are the only way to help the hikikomoris by the long-term view.
In Italy, what kind of activities are starting or being thought against the increase of hikikomoris now?
Nothing.(At the moment of June 2017)
Because almost nobody knows about the hikikomori phenomenon here. This is why I started my project. The majority of people confuse hikikomori with “internet addiction”. So, obviously the result is not good.
I think things in Italy will change in the next a few years because the phenomenon is too large even for them to ignore.
To be continued to Round 6
To the Japanese version of Round 5