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Solitude In Tokyo

Tokyo is portrayed in movies and books as a heavily populated urban area with a technologically futuristic appearance. It is full of lights with iconic neon signs. So many people are deceived by this colorful look. However, in reality, all age groups in Tokyo—not just the youth—are depressed because of the loneliness of the city. They refer to this state of isolation as "hikikomori."

So, what exactly is hikikomori?

It is a phenomenon in sociocultural mental health—not a specific mental illness but a range of recognized DSM-IV-TR (or ICD-10) psychiatric disorders. Hikikomori might be regarded as a syndrome that is culturally specific. The main characterization of hikikomori is social withdrawal. A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms or isolates themselves in their parents' homes for months or maybe years without working or attending school. Because of Japan's strict social norms and high standards for professional and academic success, this phenomenon is still relatively new there. Numerous people think that the way Japan views and treats mental health issues is what led to the development of hikikomori. Unfortunately, according to current estimates, this lifestyle has been embraced by about 700,000 Japanese people.

"The biggest problem is the collapse of the traditional family system, which leads to isolation. As the population in large cities grows, people are much more isolated because there is no local community or extended family. When people face problems in life, they have no one to consult."

In Tokyo, a large number of single mothers give birth while passing away from loneliness. 30 percent of pregnant women and new young mothers who died in 2015 and 2016 committed suicide. Some of them died during pregnancy. And the main reasons are that young mothers are alone, without the support of their family and community, and there are misunderstandings in society. In Tokyo, suicide is a communication method. They have gathered suicides involving loved ones, families, and mother-children, which I will focus on in this article later.

Mother-child suicides are a normal and common case in Tokyo, but when a woman with her two children—a six-month-old infant daughter and a four-year-old son—walked against the waves in Santa Monica so as to kill herself and her children, it became an international case. Unfortunately, the children died, but the mother survived. The Kimura case was a big mess and was discussed by Japanese and non-Japanese psychologists all over the world. In addition to being sentenced to psychiatric treatment, she was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. However, the local Japanese community has shown Fumiko Kimura overwhelmingly warm sympathy and support. Oya-ko shinju, a traditional Japanese form of suicide that is still regularly committed in Japan, was what Fumiko had attempted to do. The general Japanese population typically views it as a minor crime and is very sympathetic and understanding toward the parent.

Because they do not view suicide as murder, Japanese mothers who commit suicide often kill their children. When they were accused of murder, they would be shocked and ask, "How can killing myself and a part of myself be murder?" In some measure, most mothers across all cultures feel that their offspring are an extension of themselves. The culture affects how much a mother identifies with her kids. But this extremely strong identification, as seen in mother-child suicide, might be a phenomenon that only occurs in Japan.

With regard to the concept of ego extension, M. Rosenberg makes a note, "The self does not have fixed and rigid boundaries. It can take into itself more and more objects and individuals, more and more external things whose fate then becomes wrapped up in its own" Additionally, he says that the phenomenon of introjection, which is described as "the adoption of externals - persons or objects - into the self, so as to have a sense of oneness with them and to feel personally affected by what happens to them" is what ego extension is.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.

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