The Japan Timesから、社会問題のひとつである「ひきこもり」に関する記事です。
注目したのは“hole up”です。「閉じこもる、隠れる」または「立てこもる」という意味があります。（『ジーニアス英和辞典第4版』大修館）記事ではバリエーションとして，shut-ins，shun social contactなどのフレーズもありました。
A world of fear for Japan’s shut-ins
Several years ago, a vogue of interest in shut-ins, or hikikomori, saw researchers from France touring Japan and meeting reclusive youths. Such was the prevalence of the disorder, said psychologist Nicolas Tajan, that “if you ask people in Japan about hikikomori, almost everyone will say, ‘I know somebody like that.’ But there is no such word in France.”
Almost everyone? Well, there may be hundreds of thousands of people in Japan who shun social contact, as some experts claim, and many seem to be 20-somethings who still live with their parents. Why? The causes are myriad. Mental illness is basically still a taboo subject in 21st-century Japan, and those who admit to depression face social stigma. This country, after all, has one of the world’s highest suicide rates.
It’s not surprising to see foreign academic and cultural interest in the phenomenon of shut-ins. In 2012, that curiosity sparked two novels from German-speaking writers. One, by Kevin Kuhn, is unsurprisingly titled “Hikikomori.” The other, by Milena Michiko Flasar, has just been translated into English as “I Called Him Necktie.”
“Necktie” focuses on Hiro Taguchi, a 20-year-old who has spent the last two years holed up in his parents’ Tokyo home. He spends his days not surfing the Web or watching anime, but contemplating a crack in the wall. Thankfully Flasar doesn’t spend too much time on that pastime, but soon propels Taguchi into the outside world. The trigger? A “flight of cranes” he sees through his window.