In her latest latest Medium piece, “Hikikomori: Japan’s Name for a Global Crisis,” Kim shares what she observed in her latest trip to Japan. Hikikomori appears to be a unique cultural phenomenon, by which individuals completely withdraw from society, but Kim reflects on how this is perhaps not so unique. While the Japanese have assigned a name to the condition, and have made efforts to identify the number of affected individuals, one can still recognize in hikikomori the social isolation, shame, and stigma that is prevalent in so many contexts in every corner of the world.
Kim sheds light on the admirable cross-sector efforts underway to support hikikomori in Japan, and advocates for the creation of similar pathways for those facing extreme forms of social isolation around the world. The common thread in all of these initiatives is the first step: reaching out, and holding the space for the individual to emerge.