So last night was the first night of my homestay with Minori. So I started the morning with her and her family. I woke up around 6, and at 6:30 Minori to came to get me for breakfast. We had scrambled eggs sandwiches and bacon and ketchup on the side. It was very delicious. After breakfast we got ready for a long day. On our way to the share house we kind of got lost for a second, but managed to make it there on time. Goshi Ally and his assistant, who also happened to be a high school counselor, has been a part of the Myogandi Club. The Myogandi Club is an organization that tackles the issue regarding “Hikikomori,” which is social withdrawal.
Hikikomori is rooted in Japan, with about 1 million hikikomoris here, or roughly 1.57% of the population. I’ve heard of the epidemic before but when i learned more about it, I was very intrigued. Hikikomoris are easily spotted within society. For a hikikomori that is 30 years old, they may have been shut in for about 10 years. Some parents of hikikomoris often seek help, and some sort of enable this habit, in my opinion. Parents play an enabler role in this situation, because they would be embarrassed of their children so they hide them from the world. People become hikikomoris due to bullying in the past, being afraid of rejection, or their parents might have a wealthy paying job so they’re not around that much. The entire session was such a learning moment. People often joke about how they’re so anti-social they never go outside, and there are people who are actually suffering and seek help.
Today we also went to IDEO. IDEO is a global design company and the interior was very cool. One of the gentlemen we met was named Evin Dempsey. Evin told us about all the different things that IDEO designed and all their many projects along with answering any questions we had. Not to mention the fun little activity we did in which we had to create a job for ourselves, based on these crazy circumstances the world is in and what we are going to do about it. Evin elaborated on the fact that all different types of people in all different professions are a part of IDEO, which was very intriguing for me because walking into this session, I was under the impression I wouldn’t really be “taken away,” because graphic design is not my field of interest. However I was wrong.
At the end of the day we got to explore the Harajuku area and then for me it was off to Minori’s house . . . and tonight we’re doing karaoke!
Friendship Collegiate Academy