Queer will: Hikkomorias willful subjects
This article considers hikikomori as willful subjects. The hikikomori are a portion of the Japanese population who withdraw into their homes. These are mostly young people (between the ages of 15 and 35) and mostly young men. The focus of this article is how hikikomori constitute a challenge to dominant national imaginaries of Japan as a “corporate-family system.” This article analyses popular media and psychiatric representations of hikikomori, particularly from Saitô’s work as exemplifying Ahmed’s notion of “willful subjects.” It is argued that the hikikomori’s apparent willfulness produces them as Queer subjects who are out of place and pace with the dominant heteronormative, masculinist culture of contemporary Japan.
Publisher: Taylor Francis
Keywords: japan, queer theory, gender studies, media theory
Research Type: Journal Article