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Rent-a-sister: Coaxing Japan’s hikikomori men out of their bedrooms – BBC News

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At least half a million young men in Japan are thought to have withdrawn from society, and refuse to leave their bedrooms. They’re known as hikikomori.

Their families often don’t know what to do, but one organisation is offering ‘sisters for hire’ to help coax these young men out of their isolation.

A film by Amelia Martyn-Hemphill for BBC World Hacks

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. @harisfatkur8185

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I am feel grateful to my country. Because my neighbor always care to the others. So nobody feel so lonely because their neighbors so busy.

  2. @flamingobingo

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    This is agoraphobia

  3. @CHOICEBETWEENFEARANDLOVE

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    The parents are ashamed and deny them therapy and medication. That’s abuse! They want women to risk their lives to pick up the pieces? What a stupid country

  4. @artistfrank8511

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    WELCOME TO THE NHK IN REAL LIFE

  5. @monsieurcondottiero2685

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    “Help me, step-sis! I’m stuck…in my room”

  6. @SC-dm1ct

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    They don't need a rent a sis, they need a rent a gym bro.

  7. @dragomegaman3711

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I'm been an Indian hikikomori & NEET for 7 years now

  8. @sagarkhadka1558

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Feel worthless, angry most of the times,

  9. @JohnEastmanExAttyAtLaw

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I be renting "Sistas" out here in Seattle. You can "rent" them for like 60 bucks for 15 minutes.

  10. @penelope-oe2vr

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Its called DEPRESSION people!

  11. @piano_beginner

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    日本は自己責任の論調が強すぎる、生まれた時から人は平等で努力したら頭が良くなれると本気で信じてる、だから人生失敗したら努力しなかった人の責任で皆が無視する。
    日本人が優しいのは外国人に対してのみ。

  12. @stoffelthedestroyer3741

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Why blame and assault your parents? Have they done something bad or hurt you? If yes, that's a different issue. No? Then why lash out?
    Just be a stoic sad sack of shit on your own. Society is a failure and we all know it. If you don't want to add your effort and colors to it because they don't deserve it, you might even be right.
    No cause is worth supporting. Life is worthless. Take 1000 people, still their lives are worthless. So many people, yet no change. Okay, lets take 10 million people, any change? No.
    Worthless. Everything is doomed. Humanity will die on this one planet, everyone has already given up. So embrace sigma lifestyle. Find a job to support yourself. Live for yourself. EZ

  13. @kcvriess

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Always xylophone music… F-ing why?

  14. @parabellum4622

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    The reality is that he'll always need you now that you've deeply bonded with him.

  15. @info_dash313

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    This isn't just a Japan problem I can tell you that.

  16. @balbagsaginz

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Me and old Kenta would get along well, you're not missing anything out in the world buddy.

  17. @willmack3308

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I wanna see that couples story to be made into an anime

  18. @Whiteboykun

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    NHK にようこそ!

  19. @1ycan-eu9ji

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    This does absolutely nothing, Japan doesn't allow for ADHD medication, this isn't normal depression, it is so obvious that it is ADHD induced, lack of care for yourself/depression/not feeling useful, etc are all symptoms of it.

    It's not a coincidence that Japan treats ADHD as a joke and that so many hihikomori exist.

  20. @elir.torres8642

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I identify as a Puerto Rican Hikikomori in the U.S. and there like 159 million of us men. Can't get married because women are not loyal, too much to loose in a divorce, jobs requiring degrees for low wages, jobs requiring 5+ years of experience, friends in my 20's grew up and made their lives, no more college, people are stuck in their personal phones, nobody talks, hangs out anymore. This is a world wide fenómenon.

  21. @zuhaibali7573

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I know there’s gonna be hope for those hikikomori

    Like for example, whatever they enjoyed like pop culture, they’re good at like drawing, knitting, whatever or they love animals for example, there should be a career due to whatever they’re good at, they enjoyed, everything

    So what if like an organisation or some place that’ll provide hikikomori with friends to keep them company, spend time with, bring them nothing but ideas, guidance & hope, and invite them to outings

    Even an organisation with homing places, apartments and dormitories for hikikomori to live in, that they’ve been provided help, kindness, care & harmony by the staff and company

    There will be kind and caring rich people donating money for hikikomori, friends who’ll be there for hikikomori, somebody who’ll teach them the difference between right & wrong, guidance to the world, help them will getting jobs, the society, everything and servants who’ll heal & nurture the hikikomori

  22. @lindsaybelderson7735

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    It's really not very complex… these are individuals who have been crushed by the suffocating pressure to conform and comply to strict social norms. This is the result. Japan is reaping what they sow.

  23. @thomHD

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    There's no other country on the world that has convenienced and normalised prostitution and porn like Japan has, and while not being a conservative I think this isn't noted enough in terms of both of hikkikomori habits and population decline.

  24. @user-kc2pp9pb1q

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    how difficult is it too understand that they are depressed lol

  25. @f4llen._.4ngel

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Why should someone have to pay to hangout with someone. what a world we live in.

  26. @fiorsium

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    watching this as a hikkikomori myself feels weird lol

  27. @AhmedMohammed-xq5ep

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    the fact that they created a name for being lazy, irresponsible, ignorant person is just crazy….. those who their aim to be perfect are the most failure… small steps are the leading way to big ones…. instead of puting pressure to be perfect, put pressure in small changes that you decide everyday.

  28. @user-sf9gs2pg1b

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    3:16 dang, I like his hairstyle

  29. @olgakim4848

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Japan is a strange and creepy little country.

  30. @mania6506

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    These ''hikikomori's'' should be considered for having autism. I have autism and consider myself as a european hikikomori. My negative life experiences are from people bullying me for being different and socialising in a different way, having a different brain. I am going to go to counciling soon which is similar to rent-a-sister, they go for coffee with you and give you company to hopefully get you back into society.

  31. @KatieHall4352

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Like they mention this is a problem in the US as well but here a lot of them I believe are on 4chan. I am not on 4chan but probably a hikikomori myself due to cult trauma, serious community betrayal(not from cult), and a mom who would harass me all day and chase me down whenever I left my room to emotionally attack me. I am so certain I am just one of many in the US!

  32. @maizymaizy

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I had a rough childhood, and when I switched households (parents separated, never married) I ended up in a program where a social worker would take me out on day trips a couple times month. If I didn't have that experience, I think I would be a lot worse off in terms of social development. Just a little bit of positive human interaction can be life changing for some people. There's "invisible" people all around. Listen, and uplift.

  33. @FuuzBeeen

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Oh man, well deciphering things from the video and what people are putting in the comments, I would probably put myself as to being close to a full hikikomori, I still kinda go out though for responsibilities though for forced things like food and this language course I am with here in Finland, I feel like I have no reason to go outside and have no close friends. The people here keep their distance a lot and being a British guy who doesn't know enough Finnish is probably not as appetizing in regards to making friends with, plus I don't quite have enough money to do stuff that I want so I am kinda in a trapped state.
    There is plenty other info bits but I will refrain as I don't want to bore people, I look up to the idea of going to Japan though, I want to be a part of the community there. I hope I will be able to make that happen eventually.

  34. @reccaman

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    I dunno how they can afford not to do anything for years. I bearly can do that for a week

  35. @peshokrika3883

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    The comments here are just… bruh.. You're not a hikkikomori, stop using that word.

    Not being around people 24/7 isn't a mental illness, it's called life. Struggling to meet new people is normal too.

    Stop calling yourself things that you are not.

  36. @roxannesmith4519

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    The same happens all over the world. Avoidance/agoraphobia related to anxiety/trauma/neurodiversity. The rental sisters essentially act as support workers to assist them in engaging in exposure exercises (ie going outside) and facilitating social connection which helps to reduce the severity of symptoms and increase individuals functioning.

  37. @TheIHVPNetwork

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Fantastic & humane idea!!

  38. @TheLowman9

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    900 bucks a month for 1 hour weekly visits… so do this for 10 people and you are taking home over 100k a year for what would realistically be a 20-30 hour week if you include travel and prep time

  39. @LordSlag

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    A fake sister isn't what's going to do this, returds.

  40. @grissee

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    this make me kinda glad that I have a sister who will sometimes force me out to touch grass

  41. @taylorman40x9

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    A man without money is like a deer without antlers. It's not suppose to ever happen to men because men are not suppose to be reduced down to a piece of paper of value.

  42. @skreety0455

    January 26, 2024 at 9:48 am

    Shove him out the door, huh? OK, so you clean house and do the dishes.

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