American Hikikomori DVD’s are here!

Everyone who donated $50 or more to our Indiegogo campaign gets a copy of our short award winning film!

Thank you for supporting us!

We are truly grateful that you believed in us and wanted to help us tell this story.

DVDs

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links:

Temple in Kanagawa

Yokosuka-Temple

 

Yokosuka-Temple-R

Yokosuka-Temple-L

Check us out on our Website.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links:

Hokokuji Temple, Kamakura

Yes, more pictures from one of our favorite (small & peaceful) places in Japan.

At-the-Bamboo-Temple
At the Bamboo Temple
Bamboo-Temple-Roof
Bamboo Temple Roof
Into-the-Bamboo
Into the Bamboo…

Visit for yourself.

Check us out on our Website.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links:

Kamakura Temple: Prayer Tablets

YokohamaTemplePrayerTablets

Check us out on our Website.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links:

China Town in Yokohama, Japan

One of our favorite places.

Lantern-Yokohama

Taken right after the new year…

Side-Street-Yokohama

Temple-Yokohama

Temple-Lanterns-Yokohama

Check us out on our Website.

For more information or questions, email us at:

info@americanhikikomori.com

Or visit our social media links:

Enter “The Marshmallow Girl…,”

Or Plus size women (in America). Recently RocketNews24 posted an article about Japan’s newest trend acknowledging “Marshmallow Girls”. A “Marshmallow Girl” is a voluptuous/”chubby” Japanese woman.

TGIF everybody…

Plus Size Model, Goto Seina modeling for Japan's new plus-size women’s magazine, la farfa.
Plus Size Model, Goto Seina will model for Japan’s new plus-size women’s magazine, la farfa.

This recent acceptance really surprised me. Why? Well, any American who has ever dated a Japanese woman (let alone married one) must be aware of the tremendous pressure for Japanese women to be super skinny in Japanese society. The pressure is very intense, ten fold what we put up with in America. It’s a nightmare for any girl who is bigger than a (American) size four .

To get an idea of what I mean, the picture below illustrates, “how plump the figure is thought to be, and assuming that “0% chubbiness” is the representation of the average “acceptable” size, you should get a pretty good idea of how strict Japanese society is with curvy figures.” – Joan Coello, RocketNews24

Percentage of socially acceptable "chubbiness" in Japan
Percentage of socially acceptable “chubbiness” in Japan with 0% being average.

When I first met my wife she was around 60% and (over the years) went up to 80% but is now down 50% with her goal being 40%. Her goal is 40% because that’s comfortable for her and is what she wants. I love 100% of her all the time but my opinion doesn’t matter when she’s looking in the mirror and shopping for a new outfit. She strongly believes Japan is way over due in changing its attitude towards larger women.

Plus size models
Japanese plus size models 

I can’t imagine the social repercussions this will have on little girls’ self image/confidence. I hope this will broaden perceptions of what people consider to be healthy & attractive. It’s really why I’m taking the time to even mention this.

Welcome to the new millennium Japan!

"Marshmallow Girl" model
“Marshmallow Girl” model

What do you think?

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up for our Newsletter through our Website. We’re not just making a film, but trying to build a small community around it.

Chopsticks!! Not by Euphemia Allen…

An assortment of Chopsticks
An assortment of Chopsticks

Anyone who has ever been to an asian restaurant (ever) has encountered chopsticks (or in Japanese はし- pronounced hashi – ha-shee). I’m not referring the piano music composed by Euphemia Allen but the actual food utensils used in Asian culture. You know like from The Karate Kid.

Famous scene from The Karate Kid.
Chopstick scene from The Karate Kid.

Only I’m not referring to catching flies. In fact, I’d like to go over some chopstick etiquette.

Maybe that wasn’t the best example but I love finding videos where people are having fun with formal topics.

The proper usage of chopsticks (hashi) is the most important table etiquette in Japan. Chopsticks are never left sticking vertically into rice, as this resembles incense sticks (which are usually placed vertically in sand) during offerings to the dead. This may easily offend some Japanese people. Using chopsticks to spear food or to point is also frowned upon and it is considered very bad manners to bite chopsticks. Other important chopsticks rules to remember include the following:

  • Hold your chopsticks towards their end, and not in the middle or the front third.
  • When you are not using your chopsticks and when you are finished eating, lay them down in front of you with the tip to left.
  • Do not pass food with your chopsticks directly to somebody else’s chopsticks. Only at funerals are the bones of the cremated body given in that way from person to person.
  • Do not move your chopsticks around in the air too much, nor play with them.
  • Do not move around plates or bowls with chopsticks.
  • To separate a piece of food into two pieces, exert controlled pressure on the chopsticks while moving them apart from each other. – Wikipedia

Howcast might be a little more straight forward with their explanation from their series on sushi lessons.

Okay if you really want hear Chopsticks, check out this classic clip from Sesame Street:

Enjoy your day, thanks for reading!

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up for our Newsletter through our Website. We’re not just making a film, but trying to build a small community around it.

Hikikomori: Adolescence without END

Here it is. This is what started it all…

Hikikomori: Adolescence without END
My copy of Hikikomori: Adolescence without END!

This is the first English translation of the Japanese best-seller by author/ psychologist Saito Tamaki, first published back in 1998.

Tamaki is the first person to coin the name, “Hikikomori.”

Saito Tamaki (?)
Saito Tamaki (?)

Our film, American Hikikomori, is about a Japanese teenager who comes to America and becomes a hikikomori because he has problems assimilating to American culture. Most of my research for our story was done through talking to Japanese friends who have experience this phenomenon or known of some one who has, in addition to what I could dig up on my own.

When I discovered Tamaki’s book (a year and a half ago), I quickly found myself frustrated because there were no English translations available.

Thanks to my better half, who found it in a book local store, I have some reading to do.

Get yours here.

Amazon Description:

This is the first English translation of a controversial Japanese best seller that made the public aware of the social problem ofhikikomori, or “withdrawal”—a phenomenon estimated by the author to involve as many as one million Japanese adolescents and young adults who have withdrawn from society, retreating to their rooms for months or years and severing almost all ties to the outside world. Saitō Tamaki’s work of popular psychology provoked a national debate about the causes and extent of the condition.

Since Hikikomori was published in Japan in 1998, the problem of social withdrawal has increasingly been recognized as an international one, and this translation promises to bring much-needed attention to the issue in the English-speaking world. According to the New York Times, “As a hikikomori ages, the odds that he’ll re-enter the world decline. Indeed, some experts predict that most hikikomori who are withdrawn for a year or more may never fully recover. That means that even if they emerge from their rooms, they either won’t get a full-time job or won’t be involved in a long-term relationship. And some will never leave home. In many cases, their parents are now approaching retirement, and once they die, the fate of the shut-ins—whose social and work skills, if they ever existed, will have atrophied—is an open question.”

Drawing on his own clinical experience with hikikomori patients, Saitō creates a working definition of social withdrawal and explains its development. He argues that hikikomori sufferers manifest a specific, interconnected series of symptoms that do not fit neatly with any single, easily identifiable mental condition, such as depression.

Rejecting the tendency to moralize or pathologize, Saitō sensitively describes how families and caregivers can support individuals in withdrawal and help them take steps toward recovery. At the same time, his perspective sparked contention over the contributions of cultural characteristics—including family structure, the education system, and gender relations—to the problem of social withdrawal in Japan and abroad.

Some reviews:

The book is very interesting, and at some points it reads more like a critique of the Japanese society than a psychological research. It would be interesting to see some later books about the topic, and how it’s showing in the “western” societies, as it seems that it’s a phenomenon that’s not culturally restricted to Japan. – Vasil Kolev

Though well know in Japan this particular cultural bound illness is virtually unheard of in the US. This is an excellent introduction. A copy is being ordered for the library. – Dr. Paul A. Rhoads

Saito Tamaki really wrote this book well. It is written in a way that anyone could pick it up and just do casual reading on this topic, albeit that it is a strange topic to just do “casual reading” on but it is still good regardless. – Nicholas Lee

I’ve never been this excited for non-fiction reading before… maybe I am growing up.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Maybe Amazon and Tamaki should hire me to do their PR…

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up for our Newsletter through our Website. We’re not just making a film, but trying to build a small community around it.

%d bloggers like this: