1000 stairs to convenience store August 6 21:00

“I want to connect with people who have similar experiences”
“I want to tell someone about my problems and experiences”
"I can't meet people but chat"
A person who has been a hikikomori who has contributed to NHK's special website. As a program plan, we decided to connect “participants of hikikomori” with the chat app LINE and try to find a “solution” together. There are 9 participants. There were over 3000 exchanges in 3 weeks. This is a 20-day record of a real dialogue with the “unseeable” people who tend to be caught in the image of being confined in a dark room.
(Close-up Contemporary + Director Ayumi Okada)

July 13 (Sat) group formation

On the first day of the three-day holidays, we established an account of the LINE group of the people who had been withdrawn and experienced people. Participants who contributed to the Crisis of “1 million” special site Hikikomori invited to participate. After e-mailing and interviewing, it was formed with nine members who undertook cooperation to “I want to participate”.

Mr. Ama (34)
Hikikomori 20 years After working for 4 years part-time job, now working for IT company (30s)
Keiko who has been working for over 10 years due to discomfort in the home environment.
A 25-year history of hiking and living with his brother Sakura (38)
Single mother Shimizu (43) who raises daughter of high school student for 17 years
Miki-san (28) working for 3 hours a week for 3 hours a week while living with her parents
Chiaki who works at home because of bullying when she was a child
Hikokomori 16 years Mako, who left her parents 3 years ago and currently goes to work transition support (30)
Mr. Morimori, who is bullying and living in the home environment from 4 to 3 (52)
Lived with an 80-year-old mother

Inviting each person to the group and trying to send a greeting ...

"Hello," one person is a greeting to everyone. Then, self-introductions will begin one after another, "Nice to meet you" and "Thank you."

Will you really participate? I was full of anxiety and I was a little out of tune.

Another thing that surprised me was “I ca n’t take my hands right now, so I ’ll join in later” “I ’m on the go…”.

The people who are staying in the park seem to be very busy, going to the hospital, making lunch for their daughter, working at home, exploring social trends from newspapers, and going to work transition support.

The manual has no meaning

What is necessary to “solve” the withdrawal? I was conscious of such problems and immediately proposed to make something like a “Hikikomori Escape Manual” that shows what I should do to move on from the current situation to the next step.

“I think there ’s no point in having a manual.”
“It spreads and it makes me hurt that the world has decided that it will come out in this way.”
The opposite voice that goes up one after another.

On the other hand, the voice that wants to know "a positive experience story" was raised.
“I want to hear the most about what I got out of.
“I want to know what I was able to do during the withdrawal”

In addition, taking the opportunity to go on to high school, Mr. Mako, who worked at a dispatch company, posted a message that he wanted to shine a light on “life after hiking”.

"Recovering from the withdrawal is not the goal"
“Even though work is one demarcation, even after recovering from the withdrawal, I have been bothered by the low level of self-affirmation, such as being concerned about people's eyes and not feeling alive. "

I realized that being able to get a job after getting out of the house was never a “solution”. The first day conversation lasted for more than 5 hours.

After the event, an individual message was sent from one participant to the staff.
“Some people may not be able to keep up because the talk speed is too fast, so please listen to them individually.

I was able to see the kindness and subtlety from messages that care for others.

July 14th (Sun) Are you so sweet?

Exchange that continues the next day. Without looking at the phone for one hour, the number of unread messages exceeded 100 in no time.

“I was out of the stomach because I hurt even if I wanted to go outside.” “It was hard.” About psychiatric disorders and physical conditions such as ulcerative colitis, irritable colitis, depression, and panic disorder. Information exchange was taking place.

A mochi in her 30s has also suffered from schizophrenia. Omochi has been told by his parents that he can't do anything since childhood.

“I don't have the opportunity to practice housekeeping, so I can't fold my laundry yet. Even if I grow up, I ca n’t do that.” Is said.

It was the beginning of my ten-year withdrawal that I was unable to move because of a panic while attending university. It is said that he was able to continue to be exposed to harsh words from the surroundings.

“Relatives and people around me say I'm lazy. I didn't want to quit school because I wanted to quit. I wanted to learn a lot and wanted to improve my skills. That's why I cried out when I was forced to drop out and was so regretful that I ran away because of illness, I was lazy, the society wasn't sweet, and I enjoyed it. It is really painful and frustrating to be told. ''

Mr. Omochi said that he is currently receiving employment support while going to the hospital and looking for an apartment to start living alone.

20th employment

There was a participant who reacted strongly to what seemed to be sweet from the world. Mori is 52 years old living with an 80-year-old mother.

"It's like" I can't go outside = I'm not working, I'm sweet! "I wish the world would be so that I wouldn't be bound by the public body;

It is said that he has just started working as a contract employee after completing his 20th job after the 7th withdrawal. He says that he has become a fake self because he is afraid that the interviewer will turn his cold eyes on the resume period and the number of job changes.

“What other people think about it is an unusually worrisome nature, and the public ’s eyes…

Mori was struggling with the common wisdom that he should work for a long time. “Public eyes” and “social wisdom” that are invisible to the eyes that were afflicting Omochi and Mori. So, I asked other participants, “Do you have a sense of what you should do in your society and your surroundings, and do you really want to create your ideal?”

Then, it has become clear that it should suffer from “should work”, “should be normal”, “hikikomori should be hidden from the eyes of the neighborhood”, “should be with a smile”, “should read the air”.

Most of them were “normal”. Where are the “ordinary” values ​​that afflict them?

Parental pressure

“I want to get rid of the public thought of working outside ...” Mimi, 28, wrote.

I was afraid of being involved with people because of bullying when I was a child, and the workplace where I joined the company as a new graduate accumulated a lot of stress. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and had difficulty going out. I have been working at home as a writer for seven years, but my parents say they won't accept me as a “true job”.

“When a friend tells a story about a trip somewhere, he is told that XX is working properly. For his parents, he is working at home = not working properly. It is tormented by my parents. ''

Mimi posted a photo to the group saying, “I will show you all the shame”. It was a notebook that began to show the suffering that was not understood by my parents.

"Is it so good to live like a person?" "I want to admit myself that I wanted to work no matter what my job is."
I was struggling with the values ​​of my parents, who should be normal and ordinary.

For parental snuggling

On the other hand, some participants said that they were able to “get off” because of their parents' closeness. Ama, who has been withdrawn from school for 10 years, was saved because her parents left her home without saying anything.

“I thank my parents for letting me stay at home. I often hear that Hikikomori will live on his own if he is driven out of his house. It may have been drowning. "

Mako, who had been involved with elementary and junior high school because of bullying, was said to have been helped by her mother and her brother not being able to attend school because their parents were not attending school.

“When my mother felt that I would n’t forsake me even if I became a criminal, I decided to work hard and aim for high school. My parents believed in me, not the eyes of the world At least I was able to take a step because I felt that, and it blocked me from being told by my relatives. "

I asked Mako-san and Mako-san's mother Megumi told me the story. Megumi says that at the beginning, she continued to blame herself as three children became one after another. Still, as I took time to face the children, changes in my mind came.

"I don't want to do something. It's just pushing my values. If my parents have a hard face, I feel I'm being blamed. I was told by the children, and when I got tired, I went to the hot springs alone and tried to take a breather and spend a normal time with a smile. "

Megumi said that it took 10 years to think like this.

1000 stairs to the convenience store

The evening of Tuesday, July 23, the 10th day after the start of the group. I stopped looking at one writing.

“I was surprised to eat out, but I could eat ramen because there were no people in the food court! I was able to move longer than usual because of the hospital inspection! I want to convey the excitement I can't have! "

Then, “Wow! I did my best!” “Congratulations!” Voices of other members sharing their joy.

Posted by Sakura (38), a single mother who raises her high school daughter at home. Married and gave birth at age 21. The divorce led me to depression, panic disorder, and withdrawal. He says that for the next 17 years, he can only get out of his house several times a month to a hospital or family dog ​​walk.

Eat ramen at the food court. For me, Sakura seems to be very excited about what seems to be normal, and the sympathy of sympathy for that post. For me it was a surprise.

People who are in a state of withdrawal may feel something like an unexpected wall. When I realized that, I decided to ask other participants the following questions.

“If the parent thinks that there are 10 steps to going out, how many are there?”

“Parents are about 3 levels. I ’m about 1000 levels.” “The level of people who have no experience of withdrawal is significantly different from the level of withdrawal.”
Chiaki-san, one of the members, explained:

“For example, a healthy and healthy person who works hard in society buys a frappe at a convenience store, but for those who are hugging, they first look around and open the door. Change clothes, wash your face, make sure you don't smell, lament wrinkles, don't have enough physical strength to go outside, scare your gaze, even if you find a convenience store It ’s hard to just go to the cashier because the clerk ’s eyes are not worried about other customers. ”

Reproduced from participant testimony

A small step

That's why Sakura says that he doesn't want to run up the 1000 steps.

"I want my family and the people around me not to be impatient. I know I'm worried about money and nursing care, but I can't get out. I think that it can be done if it is possible. ”

I first learned that there was a convenience store at the end of a small small step, and that there were “independence”, “working” and “dream”. That small step is not an easy step. So the public decides, “I'm not doing anything, I am sweet”. But I realized that I was trying to step into a more comfortable world at each pace.

Sending a message to NHK's special site was a courageous step for them to change the status quo and do something. The most important thing is that you want to do the first step. It seems that it is important to do XX instead of XX.

“The goal is that the person who made it will go out. In my case, I will take a live ticket of my favorite artist, so I can go even if I feel sick.”

Achieving actions born from desires will be a successful experience, and it will be a food to take a further step.

"I feel great when I can go far away! I'm confident and I'm confused by myself."

Don't forget that there is no route or manual to climb this stairs. I felt like there was a “satisfactory” withdrawal after the steps at each pace.

Sudden withdrawal declaration

Meanwhile, an individual message arrived from one of the participants, Mr. Shimizu.

“Can you temporarily withdraw? If you are alone, you will remember the“ Hikikomori era ”… It seems to be rare in the current situation, and it seems to be strange in spirit. From everyone, it is not necessary to read all the documents of everyone. I'm asking ... I can't stand it if I can't follow it, and I feel like I want to destroy or throw away my smartphone. "

I was surprised by Mr. Shimizu's sudden declaration of withdrawal until the day before. Certainly, at that time, a large amount of exchanges exceeding 300 unread messages took place within a few hours.

When I listened to the story directly, “I had a lot of fun at the beginning. However, the sentences gradually became longer and I couldn't keep up with you. When I thought I had to answer and I had to return it, I was already full. ''

Shimizu has been thinking of "I want to connect with society and share my feelings" in a 12-year staying life. It was Mr. Shimizu who said that he wanted to join this LINE group first. However, a lot of exchanges were taking care of Mr. Shimizu because he was caring about the people around him. LINE with a read function. This too was driving into the feeling of "I should reply".

I'm scared of the Bon Festival

On Friday, July 26, two weeks after the start of the group, Keiko, who had refrained from speaking until now, asked everyone.

“The theme I want to talk about is about suicide and murder of people who were withdrawn. It is a heavy story but I would like to hear your opinions. (From the public) I was ignored and isolated through loneliness. Even if you are connected to a medical institution, it's only on weekdays, so you'll get impatient when you want to contact us.

Keiko lives with her brother after her parents passed away. He says that he has no friends and is watching TV except for home-visit nursing twice a week. He was hesitant to talk about his feelings of loneliness to his younger brother who was tired from work, and was looking for a place to hit it.

The single mother who responded to Keiko's SOS first was Sakura.

“I have tried suicide several times, but when I died, I thought that it was the point of someone's thoughts. I'm scared if I can't get in touch with you, I want to hit the hotline with the idea of ​​committing suicide and murder.”

Chiaki, who lives alone in an apartment in Tokyo, replied to Keiko's question, “It is important to find a reliable companion”. Through the LINE, I have been complaining about the importance of accompanying people.

I have suffered from adaptation disorder and PTSD due to trauma related to my father. After going to university, even if he wanted to leave the house, he was banned from working part-time and was stuck.

Chiaki was supported by visiting nurses and counselors. He says that he is now receiving home-visit nursing twice a week and the help of a helper once a week, and has recovered his healthy mind and body.

“In my case, there were a lot of co-runners such as counselors, doctors, friends, etc. I would like to go outside at my own pace, or I had to go to the clinic. I feel like I was able to get out and get a chance.

Even though the trend continues to be withdrawn, I am aiming to work through employment support.

What is “solution”?

Important to “solve” the withdrawal problem. Keep an eye out for taking a small step. Prepare social resources to be accompanies, and the other is that each of us looks at them as “individuals” rather than “one million people” without prejudice. That was what I learned in the three-week group dialogue.

On Saturday, July 27, Omochi, who had applied for an apartment in order to become independent from his parents, reported to the members. Unfortunately, it is said that the apartment has been rejected. A real estate agent told me that Ochichi was a bottleneck for the landlord because he was a mentally disabled person.

I asked the members again what the “solution” is.

Aki tells us that there are 1000 stairs before going to a convenience store. Even after working, Mako, who is suffering from the former withdrawal, said, “When you can forgive yourself, it ’s easier to breathe”.

Their “solution” can never be achieved by the parties alone. It's not "solve everything if family members come together". I feel that we are suspicious of the common sense of the world, that is, each of us does not impose “should”. And noticing the small steps of the neighbors could lead to a society where people who are both enthusiastic and others are “easy to breathe”.

Close-up Hyundai + “Hikikomori Summer Special: 1200 Voices and Solutions to Make with the Participants” will be broadcasted on August 8th at 19:30 on NHK General.

Based on this LINE exchange and posting on a special site, a character called “Shokuboke” was born. We are looking for social wisdom that you should suffer from.

Positive experiences made with members of the LINE group are introduced on the following website.

“Survival Crisis“ Survival of One Million People ”” https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/special/hikikomori/

Close-up Contemporary + Director Ayumi Okada