Monday, July 11, 2005

Hermit asses and hiding kids

When I was about twelve, I wanted to be a hermit. I wanted to live in a hollowed-out evergreen, with a little Tolkien-esque wooden door that had to be knocked in a coded rhythm in order to open. I wanted to let my hair fly wild, my calloused feet to grow resilient, and to wear reeds and vines as attire and carry around a little bag of healing herbs. I wanted the stellars jays to be my alarm clock and the beetles to be my contracted house renovators. I wanted to hunt with a handmade obsidian spear, and plant crops by the stars.

If I were a man, I would have been that big, super-size-bearded psycho who exposes his sun-varnished butt to you as he runs mad-man marathon style into the woods, grunting and hooting.

But, I have since abandoned such innocent aspirations.

(This surrendering of my dream happened about the same time that I realized I knew myself too well and could no longer entertain myself with my own arguments. I suddenly realized that I would either have to relinquish my internal hermit, or become schizophrenic and acquire a fourth and fifth personality on top of my first three.)
I went for letting go of the independent, crazy woman within.

This childhood career goal rang the doorbells at the genkans of some of my memory synapses, because I have been thinking a lot recently about a specifically Japanese phenomenon known as
Hikikomori .
It is a strange social mental state under which Japanese kids hole up in their rooms, don't come out, don't go to school and don't socialize with their peers. Every junior high and highschool in Japan has a few of these cases, and it's very hush-hush. It was a few years at my school of employment before I learned that there were actually real live kids that belonged to all those empty desks. They were like these deleted lyrics in each class's aria.

There are lots of theories as to what causes this phenomenon in Japan; none of which I will discuss here.
(Quite frankly, because I prefer to paint the world with little, yellow daisies, pink glittery hearts, teddy bears, and powdered-sugar-covered pigtails rather than depress myself with the reality of it.)

But, maybe there is some silver lining to this sad and analysis-promoting phenomenon. I mean, just think what kind of chaos would ensue if all of these children decided to realize MY childhood dream...

There would be hundreds of butt-naked Japanese kids running maniacally through the shopping arcades of Tokyo, chasing stray cats with fishing spears, cooking subway rats over open fires and sacrificing sashimi to the Harvest deities!

Posts coming soon: Suicide in Japan, random murder of family members, sick and twisted baby-beatings, first-hand accounts of the Hiroshima bombing, and victim stats resulting from Japan's AIDS-talk Taboo.

(*update/edit: for those who don't know me, these last previews are, of course, sarcasm. That, or the prophesies of one of my other personalities who has yet to introduce herself to me...)

1 comment:

frustratedwriter said...

What an intriguing post, you have left me wanting to know more. Please tell me you won't just tease us with this post and leave us wondering about why they become social hermits. As far as running around nude while brandishing a spear and seeking to impale small edible mammals, it is way overrated.