Þ Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost

Þ Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost


Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation [PDF / Epub] ☆ Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation ✩ Michael Zielenziger – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk Adolescenti che si barricano nella propria stanza e non ne escono per anni abbandonando gli studi navigando e giocando on line e mantenendosi con lavoretti via web vivendo di cibo spazzatura ordinato Adolescenti che the Sun: PDF/EPUB æ si barricano nella propria stanza e non ne escono per anni abbandonando gli studi navigando e giocando on line e mantenendosi con lavoretti via web vivendo di cibo spazzatura ordinato per telefono o lasciandosi morire di fame Giovani che se ragazze non vogliono allontanarsi dalla famiglia d'origine ma restare in casa servite e accudite come principesse il matrimonio o una possibile prole considerati peggio che inutili Giovani che soprattutto Shutting Out PDF/EPUB or maschi si rintanano per mesi in giganteschi internet café con tanto di brande e pasti in pronta consegna uesto in Giappone Il disgusto per un mondo esterno sempre più veloce e una società sempre più competitiva il chiudersi in un bozzolo fino Out the Sun: How Japan Kindle - a un'improbabile guarigione spontanea o più di freuente fino all'ospedalizzazione coatta o al suicidio sta però arrivando anche in America e in Europa a partire dai paesi del nord Svezia Out the Sun: PDF ↠ Finlandia e Danimarca in testa Team internazionali di psichiatri e sociologi si sorprendono a studiare e a definire una sindrome per lungo tempo limitata e occasionale uella dello shut in del recluso che sta mutando ed espandendosi rispetto all'originale hikikomori giapponese letteralmente il confinato il chiamato fuori Da Michael Zielenziger il corrispondente di un'agenzia stampa che da Tokyo ha fatto conoscere per primo ai lettori occidentali il fenomeno hikikomori il ritratto di Out the Sun: How Japan Kindle - un'Oriente che sta cambiando e del resto del mondo che sembra destinato a seguirlo lungo una strada della uale ancora non si conosce l'uscita.

  • 440 pages
  • Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
  • Michael Zielenziger
  • Italian
  • 02 May 2015
  • 9788861920224

10 thoughts on “Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation

  1. Chris Chris says:

    One of the things you learn about Japan when you get here and you learn it pretty uickly is that there can be a vast difference between the appearance of Japan and the reality of it The faces that people show you or even that the city shows you is not necessarily their true faceTake Kyoto as an example it prides itself on being a city of traditional culture the touchstone of all that is Truly Japanese When you first see it though you think Really? Because it looks like a big ol' jumbled up city to me And it does aside from the temples which remain or less relegated to the edges of the city the vestiges of Old Japan have been swept away in favor of concrete and glass Kyoto Station is a glimmering lump in the middle of the city and Kyoto Tower as many have said is a stake through its heart But ask anyone and we'll say Kyoto is a beautiful city Because that's the way it's supposed to beThis is how it is to live in Japan There is a gulf between the true nature of things and the way we want them to be For someone born and raised here this kind of thinking is taught from birth and without the ability to divide oneself in twain life in Japanese society can be very difficult These two states have names too tatemae is the face that you present to the world the one that everyone expects of you Honne is your true self the feelings and thoughts that you hold in reserve so as not to cause conflict with the greater society around youThe origins of this dichotomy are unclear although there are those who attribute it to a culture with roots in collective agriculture If your life and the lives of everyone in your village depends on getting the rice crop in you have to learn to hold back certain feelings or desires for the good of the group You sublimate yourself into the group structure because that's what has to be done So tatemae isn't a lie or a deliberate performance designed to deceive people It's a bargain between oneself and society This is what society needs me to be? Fine I can be that What remains is honne the inner self that society cannot touch but can never seeSo what happens when someone can't hold up their end of this social contract? What happens when the modern world makes demands of people that this ancient compact can't handle? Well that's when things start to go wrongFor many years this bargain between the individual and society worked mainly because society kept up its end of the deal People were protected employed and given a place in the world whether it was the feudal culture of the Edo era the wartime mobilization of the 30s and 40s or the indomitable Japan Inc of the post war years As the world progressed however it soon became evident that the old ways weren't enough Japan needed to change or face stagnation and irrelevanceIn this book Zielenziger tries to figure out how Japan got into the state it's in a decade and a half of stagnation with no end in sight and the very real possibility of a slide into graying irrelevance by the middle of the century To do so he looks first on the human scale at the people who have given up on Japan's social contract the hikkikomoriLike so many other things Japanese the hikkikomori phenomenon is said to be uniue to Japan Not uite agoraphobics not uite dropouts or depressives the hikkikomori are people usually men who have given up on the world They usually live in a single room often in the homes of parents who enable their hermit lifestyle and refuse to come out They sit in there and read or watch TV or think They see no place for themselves in the outside world and so they give up on it The men that Zielenziger interviewed suggested that the outside world was too much for them In many cases they were bullied by others a pattern of social control that is unfortunately ingrained here or they simply looked at their parents and thought Is this what I will become?An American child faced with the knowledge that he doesn't fit with the rest of the world will probably see it as an opportunity to shape his own identity A hikkikomori sees it as a personal failure He knows how Japanese society works and rather than blame the world for not accepting him he blames himself for not being able to fit in Thus retiring from the world is seen as the only option available other than suicide Some hikkikomori spend years in their rooms refusing to speak even with their parents who often out of a sense of shame or the nurturing love known as amae support their boys' choice of lifestyleAt the other end are the people who give their identity over to an outside source In dangerous cases this outside source might be a cult like the Aum Shinrinkyo group who carried out the deadly sarin attack against the Tokyo subway in 1995 A benign manifestation however is brand mania Zielenziger talks to women who identify themselves through the brands they buy These people will spend money they don't have in order to get a bag from Louis Vuitton or Gucci or Chanel They distinguish themselves with their brand identity willingly giving up their own in the process In a country where one can no longer trust the government to look after your best interests or the media to tell you the truth or business to give you a job putting all your faith in Louis Vuitton with its worldwide reputation for uality seems to be a good ideaIt's a nation in crisis according to Zielenziger It's a country that's gone from feudalism to full modernity in only a century and a half but the culture hasn't changed nearly as much as the country has It's a bustling 21st century nation built on a foundation that was laid in the 17th century and things are starting to fall apart It's a country that puts society before the individual but that premise is cracking under the weight of a world that values individuality It's a place where responsibility is distributed and accountability doesn't exist where mistakes go unexamined lest they bring shame upon those who made them and where the past is a thing that can be easily ignored if it troubles you Zielenziger believes that the underlying social structure of Japan is holding it back leading the entire country to another withdrawal from the world Much like the hikkikomori that no one likes to talk about Japan may one day find itself alone and isolated not knowing its place in the world and not knowing how it can get back to what it used to beThe book is uite a read going from small one on one interviews to historical and sociological analyses but it is overwhelmingly negative in tone Zielenziger isn't wrong necessarily but he is of the mind set that Japan is irrevocably screwed and that only Western cultural intervention can save itHe lays the hikkikomori problem and the problem of parasite singles NEETs and all the other dysfunctional youth at the foot of Japan's collectivist culture as well as the intense bond of amae that exists between the parent and child While he doesn't say it in so many words he does imply that the traditional social structure of Japan is simply incapable of keeping Japan competitive in the modern era He believes that Western values especially those stemming from Christianity are what Japan needs to surviveThe bit about Christianity seemed to come from left field but he does make a case for it Christianity he believes places the onus of salvation on the individual It is a person's works or faith that ensure his place in the afterlife This focus on one's personal responsibility and ultimate judgment fosters a Self that is harder to suppress From that strong sense of individuality a culture can foster competition thereby preventing stagnationThere's a long not entirely interesting chapter on Korea that he uses to illustrate this point Unlike Japan Korea once called The Hermit Kingdom found itself facing economic turmoil and got themselves out of it Not because Korean ways were better but because they knew that if they stuck to their traditions they'd be screwed Korea is a nation strongly influenced by Christianity and the individuality that Christianity fosters suggests Zielenziger is what gave Korea the courage to risk social turmoil for the betterment of their nationThere may be something to this but I doubt that adopting Christianity en masse will save Japan from Zielenziger's dire future Honestly it was tough to stay objective while reading this mainly because of the gulf between what I see having lived here for the better part of a decade and how Zielenziger describes the place If I didn't know better I would have read this and thought that Japan was a zombie nation populated either by hermits or soulless consumers From what I've seen I know that this is not the caseGranted I haven't completely immersed myself in the culture mainly because that's an extremely difficult thing for a non Japanese to do Most of the people I talk to are my students and people with the desire and the resources to study English are probably not an accurate cross section of the country So I don't claim to have any insight into the Japanese mind than Mr Zielenziger does but from my experience it seems that all hope is not lost Yes the government is a faceless bureaucracy the media is completely complacent and the corporate community that once offered jobs for life has vanished But Japan has proved resilient in the past adapting to great changes that were thrust upon it from the outside And a uick look at Japanese history shows that when the times need it people emerge to challenge the established orderThat's what Japan needs now Someone or effectively a group of someones to stand up stick out and risk themselves for the betterment of their country It won't be easy revolution never is but it needs to be done Perhaps one day instead of shutting themselves in their rooms there might be young men and women who take to the streets and show Japan that there is value in the individual I hope I get to see it

  2. Louise Louise says:

    Michael Zielenziger’s goal in this book is to show how Japanese culture produced the hikikomori the young people who use extreme measures to isolate themselves from the world He shows how the phenomenon is uniue to Japan by drawing parallels to the seclusion of Princess Masako by comparing the post war experience of Japan and Korea and through commentary on the uniue social historical and economic forces that created modern day Japan This broad agenda makes for a sprawling book only about 13 or which directly pertains to the hikikomoriThe portraits of the hikikomori and their families are the 5 star highlights of the book In this you see a different Japan than the tourist sees You learn of a culture of bullying competition conformance and shame Some young people mostly male look at the compromised life of their fathers while they are facing social andor academic failure at school and become immobilized by fear of not fitting in They are indulged by the family that is ashamed and helps the hikikomori to hide by allowing him usually him to cover bedroom windows and by putting their food outside their bedroom doors Some of these parents have not seen their sons for years Some of the hikikomori when they see their parents are violent; they may say something like “You have wrecked my life” as they assault themThere is commentary on how widespread this is the problems of parents who can overcome shame only to find very little help available and the hikikomori’s difficulties in “coming out” without an education credential or a social networkThe author ties the problem of Japan’s low birth rate to the same circumstances that produce the hikikomori Unlike the hikikomori phenomenon the author seems to blame this on the women who see only obstacles in marriage care of the inlaws – no help in raising children – husbands working 7am 9pm almost saying women should overlook them There is only passing recognition that the men of marriage age want women who will put up with all of this and are not able to grasp what they are asking of a potential mate The other parts of the book are commentaries many uite negative on Japan I presume these were adapted from material by the author in his role as a journalist A few are timeless others because the book is from 2007 were interesting to see how they held upWhile the part on the hikikomori is excellent rest of the book while informative in some parts brings it down

  3. Brian Brian says:

    20 Feels like loose stitching of previous reportingKyusik and I have this thing about journalists throwing a bunch of articles together to make some money on the sideyet we or at least I continue to pick up books on interesting topics only to be disappointed when the same thing happensWell chalk another one up Zielenziger didn't even try to hide this from us The primary piece of evidence is how freuently he repeats sharing the very same interesting facts and clearly writing them as they are included for the first time eg provides definitions analogies Some examples of his repetition that I can recall now that juku are so called cram schools that Japan is a maternal society whereas Western societies are paternal that a particular liuor drunk freuently by businessmen is like vodka that Japanese men list sleeping as their #1 weekend activity that South Korea has far fewer hokikomori than Japan in part because of Korea's compulsory military service at majority that during the 19th century Western traders were isolated Deshima the island off Nagasaki where a fabulous novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet takes place incidentally that many Japanese firms conspire to hold shareholder meetings on the same day to minimize the presence of activist shareholders To continue the rant I did not appreciate his style at allneedlessly injecting himself into the exposition as though it were a narrative I met so and so at a great French bistro and or I met him in an unusual encounter Yes we believe you interviewed these people we don't need to visualize you in conversation with them over lunch The other side of this criticism is that it's all interviews Very little actual research appears to have been performed Yes it's the 'human side' of the lost generation but mehAnd finally he doesn't even stay on topic further evidence of his article stitching We spend a little time with the hokikimori about whom I assumed this book was primarily written into Japanese macroeconomics globalization its relationship with the US and what we should be wary of in our foreign policy Korea as a case studycounterexample the rising influence of China in the region I just couldn't really follow where he was going and never felt like he tied the second half of the book back to the Lost GenerationAll that said I found modern Japan an interesting subject and did learn a few things that I've already shared in conversation So it wasn't a total waste of time just very poorly executed

  4. David David says:

    This book touched on nearly every Japanese socio cultural ill that has plagued my mind since I began living here Scathing in every dimension often backed by insightful research and careful observations the author paints a truer picture of Japan than most books While much of the book delves into the Hikikomori phenomenon shut ins those who seclude themselves from society for a variety of reasons many elements of social interaction in modern Japanese life are discussed It makes for an enthralling read even frightening in its portrayal of the levels of dysfunction that follow each Japanese person from the cradle to the graveOne of the interesting points made and one central to its thesis is the idea of “social trust” Essentially Zielenziger argues that because of Japan’s rather agnostic sense of spiritualityShinto with accents of Buddhism modern Japanese are extremely hesitant to reach out to “the other”; whether that be those in different social circles or the neighbor next door This isolating pattern is seen everywhere from the groups that are formed in school to the workplace and the family Breaking free of these imposed group relationships is nearly impossible to do and dangerous for those who tryMost of these “shut ins” who stay locked in their rooms sometimes for several decades find this psychic break from the group to be the root of their troubles Many of these Hikikomori stories begin with the person being dubbed an outcast in their schooling days bullied for being different Although such ostracism exists in all societies in many other cultures the young person finds a way to prevail remaining eccentric and develop in to interesting creative adults albeit with some mental scars However the chains of group dynamics in Japan are just too strong to overcome and those who try to break free are rejected by society as a whole It is a sad state of affairs and leads one to uestion how many interesting eclectic creative individuals are locked away in Japan’s back closetsAltogether this is a fascinating book that gets to the heart of many issues If read in conjunction with Alex Kerr’s works those interested in modern Japanese society can obtain a truer picture of this complicated nation without wearing rose tinted glasses

  5. Yulia Yulia says:

    This book provides essential insight into Japan's mindset as a country of largely homogeneous citizens who still trust only those in their closest circles and its younger generation's struggle to find their place in a banuet with too few seats and too strict a dress code What happens when democracy is forced onto a nation that has not fought for its rights? What happens when bullying becomes an accepted form of social feedback and women are given the same tests as men only to enter into an adulthood of limited choices? What happens to a country founded on stable employment when the jobs no longer last a lifetime? Zieelenziger does confront intriguing and necessary uestions about a nation in turmoil that insists on maintaining a placid front I only wish the book were better organized and less lumped together as it often seemed that Zielenziger had laid out in the beginning why boys and girls have tended to take drastically different solutions to the crisis in their schooling and perhaps even begun by giving us the historical foundation for the current social crises he reports instead of leaving this analysis to the end The answer of how to weave together the present dilemma among Japan's youth and adult population and the historical underpinnings of the crisis remains uncertain Most books provide a glimpse of the crisis then provide the history then delve back into the individual cont4mporary issues and the people they affect Zielenziger perhaps wanted to do things differently by ending on a historical note but I don't know if this made sense narratively And certainly he should have confronted directly the obvious gender divide in the youth's response to tremendous pressure in school A lumpy but fascinating read

  6. Anna C Anna C says:

    I read this book hoping for an account of the hikikomori the estimated one million young Japanese men who withdraw from society so completely that many of them literally do not leave their bedrooms for years at a time And for the first few chapters that's what Shutting Out the Sun is about However rather than dig into the details of these isolated lives Zielenziger spends the rest of the book trying to explain the roots of the hikikomori phenomenon through broad structural analysis of Japanese society And he does this by the way while sounding like a parody of a Western chauvinist If all you knew about Japan came from this book you'd think all Japanese people were alcoholic suicidal robots and that their society was days away from total collapse Zielenziger spends the entire book unfavorably comparing aspects of Japanese society to America and doesn't even bother to hide the fact he thinks the West is far superior He also seems to believe and pretty much states this explicitly that the only thing that could save Japan would be mass conversion to ChristianityHow about we not

  7. Jerometed Jerometed says:

    I enjoyed this book with one complaint All the information in the book comes from Zeilenziger or someone he interviews telling us how it is There are very few statistics or 'hard facts' anywhere and that makes it difficult for me to imagine or care about the world Zeilenziger describes However it sounds like Japan's secretive attitude forces that sort of writingJapan faces a host of weird social issues made incredible by the coupling of an unbelievably rigid society with a difficult past You can find that one sentence summary in any other review The book itself adds details which first seemed reasonable then incredible then fantastic after which point my mind could stretch no further yet things kept getting weirderIf the theories espoused within the book really describe Japan then the Japanese culture must bend its group of our species about as far away from the main branch as it can while remaining Homo Sapiens Through the book I kept waiting for Zeilenzeiger to mention how the Japanese culture causes certain unusual genes to be expressed or somethingFor example Japanese people's brains process images differently than ours The limited Japanese idea of 'self' does not include self esteem and they do not have a word for the concept Also the book mentions weirder things like how the institution of gonin gumi in the Tokugawa period 1603 to 1868 supposedly removed the Japanese's ability to distinguish trustworthiness in others and has forced them to rely utterly and completely on members of their limited 'family' group I recommend you check this out from a library if you like to read stuff like that

  8. Jennifer Lavoie Jennifer Lavoie says:

    While this book started off fascinating for me by the end I was struggling to complete it The information on the hikikomori were fascinating as was much of the history but I felt that by the end the author drifted so far away from the hikikomori side of the book I couldn't remember why he was discussing the issues that he was For a long time probably half the book the author discusses not only Japanese history and religion but Korean history and religion and compares the two He does analyze why Japan has hikikomori whereas South Korea doesn't despite their similaritiesI would have also liked to have learned information on the parasite women of Japan I know if I lived there that I would be considered one It is hard to believe that even today in the modern age women are treated essentially as second class citizens It's no wonder why many women choose to keep their jobs rather than get married and have children And the costs of education How incredible I had no idea Overall the book was a fascinating read I wonder how much has changed since the book was first published five years ago

  9. Sarah Sarah says:

    I enjoyed the first 13rd of this book but as soon as it fell into `the only way to save Japan is through Christianity` I was so put off I could barely finish it While I agree with a lot of what the author says about the future of Japan and about the need for some kind of revolution this whole book felt like some left over journalism thrown together and sellotaped into a book Such an interesting topic but very poorly executed

  10. Rachel Rachel says:

    I do not typically read non fiction; reading is less of a chance to learn and of a chance to escape Reading is slightly mentally stimulating than say watching a movie or surfing the Internet but the purpose is the same I would rather read of the fictional adventures of a character or group of characters than to observe the what's what of real life Even so I would have been a total idiot to overlook Zielenziger's book on the basis of my tiny exhausted undergrad brain cannot handle it As an Asian StudiesJapanese Studies major and a psychology geek the subject of this book hit all my buttons It took me forever to finish it I started in the beginning of January and only just managed to finish the book right at the start of April It is a dense read and it's not easy Zielenziger is clear in his words being a journalist but clarity only gets one so far For example much of the book's economic explanations were lost on me simply because I know nothing about economics Sometimes the book felt like a chore to read and by the middle it was less about hikikomori and about business and economic history As someone with very little prior knowledge of economics and someone who wasn't even alive in Japan's heyday these parts of the book though relevant made things somewhat hard to follow and confusing Even so the book offers an in depth look at the psyche of Japan's hikikomori and the psyche of Japanese culture as a whole by analyzing the events that led up to and followed the burst of Japan's bubble economy As an American it feels to me that we often do not get much by way of an explanation when it comes to Asia; even now this region of the world feels enigmatic to me and I'm studying it in college What many people perceive to be Japan hides the darker pressing social issues at play Many people are unaware of the phenomenon of hikikomori or the surprising amount of xenophobic regulations that make it hard for foreigners to assimilate or the collective mindset that sweeping issues under the rug will make them disappearThis book gives a lot of insight into the rise of hikikomori though it is now slightly dated it makes several mentions to the Bush presidency as a present day situation; international relations have surely changed by now That does not make the information inside it any less relevant Anyone wishing to gain a deeper knowledge of Japan and the less glamorous side of a culture that brought anime and gadgets to our shore should definitely read this book; it is insightful interesting and in my eyes vital to understand the complexities of Japanese culture

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