Characteristics of Japanese youth values and hikikamori syndrome

Volume 3, Number 3, 2018, P. 84–88


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The article reviews the results of the study of modern Japanese youth values in two clusters – young males and females. Respondents were asked to name 10 priority personal values arranging them in order of importance starting with the first one — “the most significant”. The survey was conducted in 2017–2018 among students of middle and high schools in Tokyo and students of various fields of study at Tokyo State University. The article describes in detail the priority values of Japanese young males (education, public recognition and financially secure life) and young females (financially secure life, self-confidence and education). It also examines the values that ranked last; they are: hard work, good health, love and a happy family life, parental status respectively. The author studies the syndrome of a hikikamori, a person without values, consciously isolating himself/herself from others and striving for complete social isolation. Hikikamori do not have mental pathologies, but often completely go into virtual reality, do not communicate with relatives, and do not know whether it is night or day. Often they demonstrate suicidal and aggressive behavior. Cultural and historical roots of the reasons for emergence of hikikamori in Japanese society are revealed. In modern Japan, the cult of hikki-hermits who lived a sheltered life is becoming increasingly popular.


youth, values, ranking, hikikamori


Anna Yu. Nagornova, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor, Tokyo University, Tokyo, Japan

For citation:

Nagornova A.Yu. Characteristics of Japanese youth values and hikikamori syndrome. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. 2018;3(3): 84–88. (In Russ.).


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