This Guy Has Been Self Isolating For More Than A Decade

by : Julia Banim on : 25 Jun 2021 13:31
This Guy Has Been Self Isolating For More Than A DecadeUNILAD

A Japanese man has been self isolating for more than a decade, leaving his apartment just once every couple of months for a haircut.

Nito Souji is known as a hikikomori, a person who completely withdraws from society, seeking out a life of extreme social isolation and confinement.


The professional solo indie game developer returned to his hometown of Tokyo 10 years ago, and found that he was ‘ashamed’ of himself and ‘afraid of going outside’.

You can see how Souji lives here:


Nito is able to eliminate everyday outdoor tasks such as supermarket trips by having his groceries delivered straight to his door.


His day begins at 11.00am, when he rises from bed and has his breakfast while catching up on the news. After this, he’ll run through his various emails and messages and send replies where necessary, a process which usually takes him about an hour.

Once he’s up to date with his correspondence, Nito will then spend two hours working on game development, checking his game for any potential bugs. After lunch, Nito will get back to work, taking occasional short breaks when needed.

Nito told UNILAD:

The only thing I can call my daily routine is short exercise. 20 minutes at around 8pm. Then, I eat a sweet snack, continue working. I go to bed at 4am. That’s my daily life.


When he first returned to Tokyo, Nito had intended to practice his drawings, with the intention of making manga books.

He told UNILAD:

Eventually, I published a couple of digital doujin books, but I was getting sick of my drawings and creations.

I really wanted to make creations that were aligning with my visions and values.


When he first became a hikikomori, Nito intended to become ‘financially independent within three years’, explaining:

I didn’t go out because I wanted to devote myself to my work. I found I was ashamed of myself and afraid of going outside.

I couldn’t maintain relationships with my friends in Tokyo. This means, there’s been no reason to go out. It makes me rather nervous when I’m not working on my project for too long.


As difficult as this year has been for many of us, it’s important to remember than so many people faced confinement and social isolation long before the pandemic, and may well continue to struggle once everything is opened up again.


If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, Japan, Tokyo


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    Japanese Shut-In Has Spent 10 Years Alone At Home