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+ - Why are Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?

fantomas writes: The BBC reports on the Japanese phenomenon of Hikikomori: young people, mainly men, who are holed up in rooms in their parents' houses, refusing to go out and engage with society. Why is this happening? and is it a global phenomenon or something purely due to Japanese culture? (we're all familiar with the standing slashdot joke of the geek in their mom's basement for example)
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Why are Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?

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The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm. -- Travis McGee

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