Shutting Themselves In – New York Times
One morning when he was 15, Takeshi shut the door to his bedroom, and for the next four years he did not come out. He didn’t go to school. He didn’t have a job. He didn’t have friends. Month after month, he spent 23 hours a day in a room no bigger than a king-size mattress, where he ate dumplings, rice and other leftovers that his mother had cooked, watched TV game shows and listened to Radiohead and Nirvana. “Anything,” he said, “that was dark and sounded desperate.”
Fascinating story about the problem of “hikikomori” – Japanese youth, mostly male, who feel compelled to shut themselves away in their rooms for years. One solution: A therapy program that includes “rental sisters” – Young women who’s sole job it is to coax them back into society.