I would like to plead something with those who are hikikomori: do not despair. The experiences you are going through must have meanings.
As you have experienced hikikomori, you can understand the feelings of people in the same situation. You can be nice to them. Therefore, please share your true stories which you have gained at the cost of a part of your life. Pains or sufferings that you have experienced might heal somebody else.
I felt much relieved when I heard experiences of a lot of hikikomori. This might be because loneliness will cease when you know there are people that have same experience as you.
In order for the hikikomori to regain social connections and to get out of solitude they need to get in touch with those with the same experience at first. When they do, they will know that the time they were through was not in vain.
Therefore I wish you do not give up all hopes no matter how much time you have lost. Your pain must have meaning. It would help others that you have not seen yet.
I would also like to ask of those who have luckily got out of the hikikomori situation: please do not desert those who cannot get out from hikikomori. Please keep in mind that there are people who cannot move their feet or who only pass their life time without any hopes. You can be confident of the fact that you have overcome your suffering; you can share your real stories with the hikikomori concerned in public.
To general people and family members of the hikikomori: please listen to the hikikomori more carefully. Sufferings of the hikikomori vary; there is not the only one solution that can save them all. There are many problems in the background. That is why you need to listen to each one’s voice. Do not be influenced by the image that the mass media create. Do not judge with the general sense of value.
Start Speaking Out
I cannot go along with violent supporting groups and the mass media that treat them like heroes. I only wish that no more disaster would be caused by them.
With the publication of the Hikikomori Newspaper, I intend to put an end to the days when the hikikomori are forced to be silent.
Naohiro Kimura, chief editor
translator: Yukinori Maehara