Just wanted to congratulate you on your English, it's really good now! Anyways, what did your parents think about you when you first fell into the Hikikomori lifestyle?
wow.. your question hit my head so hard.. (´・ω・｀)
I remember I called my aunt from my apartment in Tokyo and asked "Can I live with you?"
And she said, sure you can come back whenever you want. I think that's all.
How does the financial side work out? Who pays the bills, and what does your money go on?
Also, what about female Hikikomoris, are they common? Every mention of the phenomenon seems to only mention men.
I relied on my family until last summer. Now I'm living on my savings. But it won't last so long.
I just started EN-JP translation gig for indie games. I need to find a way to earn money so that I can complete my game (´・ω・｀)
Female hikikomori... I heard that they are hard to find because they are considered as 家事手伝い(kajitetudai), which means a young girl who is practicing household skills and getting ready for marriage
How extreme is your level of isolation/confinement? Is it simply avoiding people where possible and still continuing with things like grocery shopping etc or complete isolation?
I have been living in the same apartment alone for 10 years.
I've been using the delivery service from the grocery store, so I rarely leave my apartment. Basically once 2 months for going haircut, just like that.
Do you ever long for personal social contact, or are you just a heavily introverted guy who prefers to be alone?
I feel my hikikomori life has suppressed my urge for social connection. Just lately I became active on Reddit and Twitter, I got a bunch of kind words and encouragement. And now I find I feel like social connections than ever. It's like rain falls in the desert and you see little greens here and there.
Hey, I was also a hikikomori for 8 years. I barely managed to escape it only several months ago. My isolation was during my formative years so I feel permanently damaged and its hard to keep hope. Nevertheless, I am still trying my best to live the life I now know that I want.
This may be a bit of a stretch but are you willing to talk? I know when I was really deep in isolation any human contact would petrify me, so if you feel uncomfortable I completely understand.
It's so rare to find another hikikomori especially one that has been isolated for so long.
I feel lonely, as no one understands the life Ive lived.
I'm so glad to hear you have been recovering from hikikomori now. Congrats man! ヽ( ´ ∇ ｀ )ノ
I'm occupied with replying in this thread now, but DM me whenever you want! I will definitely reply when I can.
What is the worst advice someone has given you when you tell them about your lifestyle?
Wow this is a fascinating question.
Fortunately(?) I really didn't have deep conversations with others for almost 10 years, so didn't get any advice as well.
First, congrats on your achievement! :)
As I'm living in Europe and only heard of Hikikomori in the media, I always wondered: what are the major differences and similarities of this phenomena and a major depression? What do you think from your point of view? Thanks!
Thank you! hmm.. as far as I know, Hikikomori is not necessarily accompanied by mental problems. Personaly I don't think I'm in need of theraphy or something.
How do you spend a typical day? Also do you live with family or by yourself? If you live with family, are they supportive or understanding of your life and work?
I live in an apartment alone. Basically just making my game and doing housework.
How often do you go outside?
once every two months for haircut
But this pandemic is going to affect my routine..
Are you a fan of "Welcome to the NHK"? Unless you haven't seen it, can you comment on how accurate you think the show is in showing what it's like to be hikikomori?
I read the novel before I became a hikikomori, haven't watched the anime version.
I remember there are few descriptions of the family relationship. So it lacks the most important aspect of being hikikomori.
So, would you say that your isolation is caused more by a drive to work hard and create something or because of the feelings of stress, depression, etc...?
When I was having normal jobs, I was very depressed every morning. I was killing my emotion in my workplace. So I can't tell precisely what put me into hikikomori. But I can tell I didn't expect my hikikomori will continue such a long period. I really hoped I will become independent within 3 years or so.
I'm proud of you for overcoming such difficult circumstances! What's been the most fun part about developing your game?
Thank you for the kind words! (´▽｀)
I think the most fun part is the moment when your all works, assets and game logic, are working as what you imagined, and that is actually silly and funny!
Thank you for the great advice! That's so inspiring! (´▽｀)
Honestly I had thought my English was not good enough to communicate with English speakers until just recently.
Two months ago, I posted on r/japanlife for seeking advice. Their warm reaction was incredible and I was told my English is pretty good, which blew my mind. I realized I was missing some of my possibilities.
I'm still not sure what and how I really can do, but I will contemplate this aspect for sure. Thanks man!
How is your health doing? Do you try to maintain a reasonably healthy lifestyle despite shutting yourself in?
Ah I really want to recommend fellow hikikomoris to exercise daily!
I hadn't exercised for a long time and it decayed my body. I feel need for making more time to exercise lately.
Psychologically speaking, do you feel the need to have contact with anyone? Do you imagine having a friend or a girlfriend whom you can trust your despairs and achievements? Dont you have the need for some output other than a creative one?
I feel my hikikomori life paralyzed my social instinct because you want to avoid connecting others.
You may or may not know this but the current indie game market is getting so crowded that you need to do marketing and build connections more and more. So since last year, I started to reach out with others. That has changed my mental condition. I remembered that happy time I had with my uni friends. Now I'm looking forward to making friends again (´▽｀)
- How do you keep yourself occupied and healthy while shut-in? (I'm on day 16 of self-isolating due to Covid-19, after going to the ER the doctor's determined I have a viral respiratory illness (aka likely Covid19) and staring at screens and being immobile in my room is really getting me).
- What do you think of the anime Welcome the NHK (or other cultural references that deal with Hikikomori lifestyle)?
Yeah, as u/Time_Magician is saying, I recommend keeping your sleep cycle as usual. I had experienced the chronic bad sleep cycle. My day/sleep cycle had kept shift back little by little. I heard that it is not good for our immune system.
Hope you will recover soon! (੭•̀ᴗ•̀)੭
Sorry I haven't seen that anime series.
What does Hanzo say when he uses his ultimate? Thanks.
Senpai notice me! in kansai dialect I suppose (´・ω・｀)
How has your view of the world changed in the ten years? And what’re some things in the game that are super exciting to develop or fun to make?
LINE is a big thing. When I was having a social life, there is not this kind of dominant message app. But now everyone seems to have to use LINE in Japan. I don't have confidence using this kind of app and live with it 24/7.
Making 3D models and letting them do silly things in your game is pretty fun, man (´・ω・｀)
Dude, you stayed indoors for 10 years and you learnt how to draw manually and digitally, learnt English, learnt programming and MADE A GAME due to launch? You also wrote a book as well!
That is 10x more achievement than a lot people in a LIFETIME!
Keep going! Looking forwarded to your game!
Edit: Fixed grammar.
Thank you for the kind words! That encourages me a lot (´▽｀)
I don't mean to offend you or anyone with these questions.
Do you think being a hikikimori is a mental illness? Do you think it can or should be treated or cured? (I'm basically a shut on. myself other than going to work)
I live in Japan 15 years btw. Hikikimoro kinda always made me angry becuase I felt they are a drain on society. My taxes take care of them. But they aren't deserving of wealthfare like many other groups of people. For example I live next to one. He is gross, I've seen him 3x in 6 years. He blasts his music when he wakes up from 11am to about 3pm everyday. So Sunday naps? Nope. No job. No nothing. He is a drain on society. BUT you don't seem like that. You worked. You tried to work. You pay your bills. Right? To me a truehikimori is someone living off their family or off wealthfare and also never goes. And I missing something in the translation.
My neighbor is a NEET and hikikimori. You are just hikikimori.
1) I think one can become hikikomori without mental problems. But I feel keeping hikikomori life too long can cause mental problems. It never makes you happy in my opinion.
2) I can understand your annoyance.
what convenience store has the best egg sandwich?
Oh, I have never picked an egg sandwich. I always felt it's relatively expensive for some reason. Which convenience store do you prefer for your egg sandwich?
I kind of think the real talent is driving you and teach/imply/seduce you how to create the real art.
My drawing is just mimicking and I have no power to embody the true creation.
More simply put, my anatomy sucked and one of my customers complained one of my drawing. That was so true and I couldn't help that.. (´・ω・｀)
Thank you for the compliment!
So whst's the deal with hikikomoris in terms of dating. Is that a thing, or y'all just stick with tenga eggs and delivery health service?
Another fascinating question (´・ω・｀)
Probably many hikikomoris don't have partners. I don't have too. We have some reason to avoid interacting with others.
I just watched the short trailer you have. My only question is what's with the guy getting whipped by the machine and the love hearts coming from him?
Japanese dude loves robots so much (´・ω・｀)
Hi mate! Sorry to ask, maybe a too much of a personal question, but in this long time alone did u take any drugs/antidepressants or something to relieve that sense of extreme Loliness? I can’t imagine my mental health be good in so much isolation. Have a good day and luck for your project
Thank you for the kind words (´▽｀) No, I haven't used drugs. Honestly I didn't feel loneliness during my hikikomori life. You know, you want to be alone for your sake. So the sense of loneliness would kind of disappear.
Just watched the trailer, the game looks pretty cool and definitely an accomplishment to be proud of.
It sounds like you do want to stop being a hikikomori -- do you think you're waiting to achieve some kind of success (whether through the game, writing novels, or drawing) before trying to get back out into the world?
Thank you for the compliment!
I think I can feel confidence in myself when I complete this game. This game is a weird kind of autobiography/ self-expression. I feel this game is a ticket to the outside of my house.
So which is your favorite version of Welcome to the NHK; Light Novel, Manga or Anime?
I have only read the light novel. Which do you like?
What will you do after your game is launched? What will you do if it's very successful? What will you do if it's not very successful?
My original plan was moving to a foreign country where the living cost is cheap, then making my second game based on the income from Pull Stay. This is the best case scenario. But the pandemic is disrupting my plan just same as everyone's life..
Yeah, the current indie game market is very severe. I'm not much optimistic about my plan. Maybe I will seek a job using Pull Stay as my portfolio if the game will flop.
As you probably heard many people in Europe and elsewhere are forced to stay indoors due to Corona. What tips would you have for people who don't know how to pass the time at home, not go completely crazy and feel isolated right now?
Having hope and making a little progress every day. That worked for me.
This Washington Post article is very interesting and somehow encouraging.
what games do you play? i assume you are both a console and PC player?
I haven't played much lately because I don't have time and money.
Papo & Yo is one of my favorite indie games.
Since you have this novel background, what made you choose to make a game with a focus on comedy instead of a richer story?
Thank you for this question!
Yes, I want to make story-driven games as well. But I didn't, and still don't, have the confidence to write the scenario in English. Comedic action game doesn't need a lot of written scenario, so I chose this genre.
Also humor is a very important element for my identity, which has given me the stability of mind in my hikikomori life.
What did you study in Uni?
I majored in Oriental History. But I was not a good student :p
Hello! Have you ever heard of agoraphobia? How do you think Hikikomori differs from agoraphobia?
I have agoraphobia, and sometimes cannot leave my house for months on end, and I feel like I could just never leave my house. I wonder if sometimes we feel the same or not...
Yeah, I have heard of that.
When I was in my about 2nd year being hikikomori, I was feeling a bit of fear and shame while I was outside and in front of others. But I gradually became not caring about other's eyes. Maybe it's a bit different from agoraphobia?
Has COVID-19 affected your level of social isolation?
I had usually gone to the barbershop in downtown. But the last time, a month ago, I searched a barbershop in the rural area and went there (´・ω・｀)
Thank you for the Ask me anything! （そして下手な日本語を使ってすみませんでした苦笑）
How frequent do you masturbate? I'm currently on quarantine and I jerk off daily. not that I'm proud of it
I have wanted to use this kaomoji once (´・ω・｀)
So, you've been a shut in for 10 years and quarantine is 'difficult' for you...?
I feel I'm damn well prepared for quarantine already.. (´・ω・｀)
How much does success as a Doujin creator depends on using big franchises like Touhou or Kancolle or just making 18+ work. Did you attend Comiket?
I heard that if you are making a physical book and distributing it via doujin events and shops, the choice of franchise matters greatly. While on digital shops like DL-site, it's more likely the subject(fetish) goes a long way.
Yeah, I attended Comiket during my uni days. That was an amazing experience. So many otakus and so many love and passion there.
Hi! I've read a little about Hikikomori before and how it is not an easy choice to make for many people. So I am glad you're finding ways to bring your experiences into art!!
The game that introduced me up Hikikomori was Yume Nikki (ゆめにっき), which I found to be a beautiful, powerful, terrifying look into the struggles of Hikikomori. What are your thoughts on this game?
I highly appreciate Yume Nikki!
In my opinion, Yume Nikki doesn't chase "fun of gaming", instead it tries to recreate the play feel of クソゲー(shit game). More precisely, the game recreates the feeling when you are playing the same game again and again repeatedly. Yume Nikki is trying to draw our inner experience using the video game scheme as its canvas and paints. I'd like to say it's a sort of revolution like impressionism. Just my opinion though (´・ω・｀)
What tools programs do you use to build your game ? Are you self taught? Did you book Udemy ?
I'm using Unreal Engine4, Blender, Substance Painter, and Photoshop.
Yeah, I learned myself with the help of the internet and books.
I watched a couple of Udemy course about rigging in Blender, and Blueprint scripting in UE4. I watched videos on Pluralsight as well.
Blender Cookie is a fantastic site that taught me many aspects of Blender.
so, since you're essentially living as a hermit, how do you manage to live? like your source of income, how you keep the house clean, etc.? surely this has to be difficult since you're living alone and how did you learn how to develop a game?
also wondering if I may have permission to use your game to make some YouTube videos, kind of like a game play / review type thing?
I'm asked about my finance a lot here but I can't decide if and how I should reveal this aspect yet. Sorry about that..
Yeah! Please make your video as you like! (´▽｀)
No need for permission and notification :D
How is your spoken English? Why not offer your services as a tour guide / translator? I would love to do another trip to Japan, but the language barrier is what stops me. I'd pay to have someone show me around. I'm an introvert that doesn't want to go in big groups.
My spoken English is terrible.. I haven't practiced it at all.
On top of that, it's not joking, your throat muscles have decayed during hikikomori years because you literally don't speak at all!
So yeah, I need to make a plan to practice speaking English (｀・ω・´)
Hello, never heard about something like that, Japanese culture is so fascinating and strange....
Is your desire to stay inside and not go out anymore because you said
a) ashamed to go outside because you haven't had success yet ?? or b) that you decided to shut yourself in so you can focus/work better??
Or maybe a combination of these?
(Or differently asked: Is it more a self-punishment for you...or is it something practical you do out of necessity as you feel you need to do it to become successful?)
What has suffered me until today is the fact that I'm still not able to earn my living by my creation.
Going outside is theoretically delaying the date when my goal, financially independence, is achieved. Because it takes time and I can't work when I'm outside. There was a moment I don't want to be seen by others in my early hikikomori days, but basically I have just wanted to work and achieve the goal asap.
What is your favourite brand of instant ramen?
Already ended its production! What a shame!
Are you going to stick with it if this game isn’t as successful as you hoped? I hope you will.
I’m a little worried that your post makes it seem like you give up completely on something if you don’t see success. But that’s part of being creative. You make art because you feel the need to make it. You should keep making games. You should keep writing. You should keep practicing art.
Scandal is one of my favorite bands. They formed before they even knew how to play instruments. And they practiced all night in high school. And they kept practicing. They got better and better at their instruments. They only got better by pushing forward and sticking with it. You can hear them make mistakes throughout their careers. And now they’re all fantastic musicians.
So please follow your passions. Don’t give up just because it is a struggle. Keep at it and you will get better and better. Even prodigies need to practice.
I wish you good luck in your game! I will check it out when it’s completed. I just looked at it and it looks wild. Definitely make more when you finish it.
Thank you for the kind words! Yeah, I will stick to game development!
Redditを使用してる日本人です、いろいろ見させていただきます。どのような状況にあろうと、様々な人に行きにくい社会ですね、日本も世界も。毎日お疲れ様です。Dude, I’m believing in you, just do thing at your own pace really and keep on! Good luck.
Oh, just a quick question: how did you learn English at this level?
Thanks! Yeah, I studied English at our middle and high school, and uni. Other than that, I just lurked around English forums. Watching tutorial videos about game development. Basically that's all. I really don't know how proficient my English is. It's like you have a dream in your bed and in that dream, you noticed you are not wearing your slacks. That's feeling. You know that feeling right? (´・ω・｀)
Oh and I love Hapa英会話
Take it easy, Peace! v(｀・ω・´)v
Reading your story, it honestly hits me hard in a funny and sad way. Funny in a way how it's similar yet opposite coming from someone from a whole different country. After leaving a job that drained all of my passion, I now only go out because I had a responsibility to drive my friend to work. I've always wanted to become a doujin creator myself since my teenage years but fail to find any motivation to try or begin, coupled with the same drawing complex, crippling fear of failure/rejection plus my lacking+extremely slow Japanese language development that is a main requirement to begin with.
I wanted to ask, what motivates you to keep trying despite the failures and how did you keep it up? Given the hikikomori lifestyle, I understand there may be a lack of motivation source from other people.
For me, the meaning of my life is to create artworks. I never want to give up living a life with meaning, a life with the creation. So I haven't found the problem of motivation ever.
Sorry if this sounds kind of arrogant.. (´・ω・｀)
Is there a hikikomori community in Japan?
It seems like there are not a few organizations helping hikikomori people.
I personally don't know any communities regardless of online or offline, though.