The emergence of Hikikomori, “a recent phenomenon among young adults in which they isolate themselves from social contacts and responsibility for more than 6 months”, is the result of biopower (Teo & Gaw) (Yong & Kaneko). The emphasis on success in Japanese culture causes people, who do not meet specific employment, behavioral and appearance standards, severe emotional repercussion. Sentiments of personal failure are so harrowing that they feel the need to shut themselves away from Japanese society all together. They are so stimulated by power, that they in turn feel powerless.
Power, in the form of dominant Japanese social and cultural practices, is internalized subconsciously by citizens who emulate what they observe. Through this unconscious internalization, the nation-state disciplines its population to represent what is considered modern Japan. The concept of idealistic, national modernity is crafted around the notion of bodies as effective species, akin to machines. As a species, citizens are imbued with the mechanics of life deemed to best shape biological processes such as propagation, health level, and life expectancies. As machines, populations are disciplined in order to best serve systems of economic productivity. Hikikomori is a direct attempt to evade the effects of this system dormant in their bodies. Japanese citizens are immediately born into this assemblage of power relations, and the hikikomori attempt to escape it by physically shutting their bodies away from society.