From The Washington Post:
Akiko Abe has barely seen her 25-year-old son in six years, yet they live in the same small house. He leaves his room only when he’s sure his parents are out or asleep, she said. She can tell when he has used the kitchen, and she knows he goes to the living room to watch television and use the computer at night.
As many as a million Japanese — most of them young men — are considered shut-ins, either literally cloistered in their rooms or refusing to work and avoiding all social contact for periods ranging from six months to more than 10 years. Forty-one percent live reclusively for one to five years, according to a government survey.