On Gaien Higashi Dori
Tuesday, August 5
The Bedroom Hermit
Words that you have just met in a foreign language have an uncanny way of showing up again quickly and uninvited at the door of your memory. You know instantly they will not be turned away. It is like they would go to any lengths to be let in, even if it meant changing the course of history. This is not coincidence--it is far too sinister for that. One especially nonchalant but persistent new arrival has barged in this week--hikikomori.
Hikikomori, which Eijiro gives as "social withdrawal," came on the scene innocently enough yesterday afternoon in conversation with a friend, stayed briefly, and then politely made its excuses and left. Today, without warning, it was back, this time for good. It had also disassociated itself with its old Eijiro identity and taken on a much more pittari name, "bedroom hermit."