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Marmalade interviewed for Japanese news documentary (and what’s Hikikomori?)

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

The call of Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) reached far and wide. In January of this year, Japanese news channel NHK got in touch after reading a Guardian article featuring Marmalade Trust.

Japan is currently experiencing a huge rise in extreme loneliness and NHK were keen to get Marmalade founder Amy on their flagship nightly news magazine programme Close Up Gendai, which was focusing on the rise in youth loneliness. 

With LAW coming up, it seemed the perfect opportunity to join forces and a NHK film crew flew especially over from Tokyo to interview Amy at Marmalade HQ in Bristol. The programme aired on July 25th to nearly a million households and featured our Connection Chair from LAW. Amy also spoke of her own experiences of loneliness and the issues facing young people who feel lonely today.

Hikikiomori: the new ‘modern day hermits’.

Hikikiomori is a phenomenon in Japan used to describe a new generation of ‘modern day hermits.’ The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare defines hikikomori as a condition in which ‘affected individuals isolate themselves from society in their homes for a period exceeding six months’. Estimates suggest that nearly half a million Japanese youth have become this type of extreme social recluse.

Two experts who have been investigating the causes and impact of hikikiomori are Dr. Alan Teo, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Oregon Health & Science University and Yuichi Hattori, a psychologist at the Sayama Psychological Institute. Listen to them talk about this compelling subject in more depth here:


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