FUKUOKA (TR) – In recent years, the government has acknowledged that the condition known as hikikomori, meaning a person who has withdrawn from society, is an ongoing concern.
It now appears that the affliction has claimed the life of a woman in Fukuoka Prefecture, according the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 27).
At approximately 5:10 p.m. on Saturday, a 39-year-old man alerted police after finding the skeletal remains likely belonging to his sister, 37, lying atop a futon inside her room in the residence they share in the Kamikisaki are of the town of Oki.
According to officers from the Chikugo Police Station, the body did not have any external wounds, and the person is believed to have died of starvation or disease.
For more than a decade, approximately 700,000 people aged between 15 and 39 have suffered from hikikomori, according to figures provided by the Cabinet Office.
The lack of a definitive cause for the condition has in part fueled substantial interest from overseas, including as the subject of the French documentary “Hikikomori: A Deafening Silence.” It has also been featured in a number of manga and anime titles.
In the case of the family in Oki, the woman had not been seen by a member of the family, which includes her 66-year-old mother, for an extended period. A cabinet had been placed in front of the door to her room to prevent persons from entering or leaving.
Police are now working to confirm the identity of the corpse.