While the culture of staying in isolation has been normalized due to the global pandemic, it has been thriving in Japan for a long time. In Japan, a person who stays in home isolation and confinement is known as a ‘hikikomori’ which translates to being confined, or social recluses. According to studies, there are over 1 million hikikomori nationwide, reports the Japan Times. The Japanese Ministry of health defines it as a condition in which affected people remain in extreme social isolation from society at their home for at least six months. One such individual is Nito Souji, an artist and professional solo indie game developer, who has been a hikikomori for more than 10 years and now only leaves his apartment once in a couple of months to have a haircut. Graduated from a university in Tokyo, he returned to his hometown after being unable to find a good job.
Originally, he wanted to remain hikikoromi for three years to practice drawing and create dо̄jinshi and self-published comics, until he could be financially independent, reports the media outlet. But now, he lives in his aunt’s apartment in Kobe with limited contact with the outside world and gets his essentials delivered to his doorsteps.
Talking to UNILAD, he shares his routine by saying that, he shared his day begins at 11 am (local time) after that he will have his breakfast while catching up with the news. The next hour, he spends his time responding to necessary emails or messages followed by his project of game development, thereafter he has his lunch and back to work. In the evening, he will do his physical workout for 20 mins and after dinner, he works again and goes to bed at 4 in the morning.
Since 2015, he has been learning English and working on a game inspired by his personal experiences of being shut-in. The game is called Pull Stay, which was launched in October 2020, and features a protagonist that is based and modelled on Souji himself.
Pull Stay #Kickstarter is launched NOW! ヽ(≧∀≦)ﾉThis game reflects my last 10 years as a shut-in aka HikikomoriBack the game and make the world weirder!https://t.co/PRzdoNWb6HAll of your love, Likes, Retweets are super appreciated!#indiegame #gamedev #UE4 pic.twitter.com/JXUDjdnOrF
— Nito Souji (@EternalStew) October 20, 2020
He also runs a YouTube live streaming channel with more than 20,000 subscribers.
Now, he is completely devoted to his work and revealed that it makes him nervous to not work on his project for too long.