Definition Proposal: Hikikomori

1. What word/term/concept/idea are you choosing to define?

I have chosen for definition the term of the Japanese origin hikikomori, that defines contemporary hermits, who isolate themselves at home for years. It is is well-known among those, who are interested in anime and is an integral part of their subculture.

2. Why have you chosen this word/term/concept/idea?

I have chosen this term because many fans of the Japanese pop culture think that being hikikomori is trendy, because this image is often romanticized in anime, and, as the result, might try to be like their favorite protagonists (BBC). It is crucial to include irreversible effects of such isolation on the human psyche in the definition of the term to ruin the false image of the Byronic hero that anime creates.

What is your purpose behind writing about this word/term/concept/idea?

Giving disillusioning definitions to dangerous notions like hikikomori changes the status of romanticized solitude to serious psychological disorder (Kato 14), and might save somebody’s life, which is my purpose behind writing about this phenomenon.

3. What are you hoping to achieve in writing this argument?

The popularization of the hikikomori lifestyle is the promotion of sociophobia, depression and personal degradation. The definition of the notion that reflects the real state of things might show that being a hermit is an illness, but not a positive distinction from the crowd.

4. Who is your audience for this argument?

The audience for this argument are young people, teenagers, who already have problems with communication, spend much time in the Internet, and are extreme anime fans (so-called otaku).

Why do they care or why should they care about your definition?

They should care about my definition because it reflects their possible future, which is awful.

Who has the power to influence your rhetorical situation in your favor and would be willing to listen to and engage with what you have to say?

Those, who have stepped on this path and have seen this abyss might engage with what I have to say.

5. What tone are you going to need to strike in this piece to best connect with and persuade your audience?

Changes of scientific tone of narration and the emotional one will be optimal to persuade my audience.

What genres of writing are suited to this particular rhetorical situation, audience, and tone? Why is this mode best suited for your rhetorical purpose?

The format of the blog post seems to be optimal for disillusioning potential hikikomories, because these people usually already have problems with communication and spend much time in the Internet.

Works Cited

BBC. Hikikomori: Your Stories About Refusing to Leave Bedrooms. BBC. 18 Jul. 2013. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

Kato, Takahiro A. “Does the ‘Hikikomori’ Syndrome of Social Withdrawal Exist Outside Japan? A Preliminary International Investigation.” Springer-Verlag, 2011. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

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