NEET vs Hikikomori

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NEET vs. Hikikomori

NEET vs. Hikikomori what are the difference, QooPedia takes a look at the similarities and differences between the two.


NEET is an abbreviation for Not in Employment, Education, or Training. The term was first used in UK as a category for those from 16-24 who are not studying or working. In Japan, the age criteria is 15-34.


Hikikomori is a person who has acute social withdrawal (shut-ins). The kanji for Hikikomori “引き籠り” is made up of the words “to pull” and “to confine”.In this sense, a Hikikomori is someone who withdraws themselves from society and confines themselves at home.


Whilst in most anime/manga series a NEET and a Hikikomori usually comes hand in hand, in reality, that is not always the case.

For one to become a NEET, they simply need to be unemployed, not studying and not in a technical training program. A NEET can have a healthy social life and still be a full-fledged NEET. Similarly, a Hikikomori can be employed, but simply never leaves their house.

In many anime/manga portrayals, NEETs are portrayed as a shut-in NEET (NEET + Hikikomori) automatically. In many real cases, an individual becomes a NEET and eventually develops symptoms of social withdrawal due to society’s discrimination on NEETs.

In conclusion, NEET and Hikikomori are distinctively different, but one can easily lead to another which is most likely why in most cases, NEETs are portrayed as shut-in NEETs.

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