In Japan, a million young men have shut the door on real life.
Almost one man in ten in his late teens and early twenties is refusing to leave his home – many do not leave their bedrooms for years on end.
It is a lost generation. Many millions of families are devastated. But they mostly suffer in silence, unable to understand the plight of their children. The first western psychologist to study the problem describes the condition as “an epidemic” sweeping Japan.
It is called hikikomori by the Japanese – meaning “social withdrawal”. Yet little is known about the problem and parents of sufferers prefer to hide their pain rather than seek help.
Phil Rees' film discovers the hidden pain that is scarring Japan’s youth. We meet the mother of a 17-year old boy who took over the kitchen of the family home. Her son has refused to leave the kitchen and has not spoken to outsiders for four years. Members of his own family rarely see him. He doe