Hikikomori: The Locked Generation

They are becoming more and more numerous but we do not see them. Some disappear into solitude without anyone noticing. These are the ‘Hikikomori’.

‘Hikikomori’ is a Japanese word used to describe reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from the public world and seek extreme degrees of isolation. The phenomenon first gripped the population of Japan in the 1990s, thought to be triggered by the economic crisis and academic pressures imposed by society.

Today, this expression of modern suffering seems to be spreading elsewhere in the world, particularly in France, where it has been recognised by medical experts only recently.

In both France and Japan, we follow psychiatrist Marie-Jeanne Guedj as she endeavours to understand ‘Hikikomori’ and treat those who are suffering from the condition.


  • Year: 2020
  • Duration: 52 & 70 mins
  • Production: Magneto Presse
  • Director: Michaëlle Gagnet
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France


  • Prize of the Jury at Science Film Festival 2021 (Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam), Imagine! Festival of Ideas & Politics 2021 (UK & Ireland).