There is one part of my brain that says I shouldn't make myself uncomfortable by finding out more about things that are taboo to me, things that I don't want to know of. There is also another part, which is much louder, that tells me to avoid becoming like influencers who are like "omg sad news make brainy go hurty : ((("
Man, the concept of these recluses are my worst nightmare. A lot of them feel rejected by society, so they in turn reject society themselves. I am unsure whether I feel saddened by or if I look down on them, as they are what I fear the most of becoming. Seeing it is definitely soul-shattering, but they are obviously suffering from illness and in need of help. There seems to be two ways of helping them, hiring a friend/girlfriend (because Japan) to take them outside, or support groups. I won't say either is better, as the latter might spiral them further into the hole. I know that this also exists in the western world, but here we'd write it off as a depressed hermit. I wonder how we'll deal with it in the future, with the advent of a more digital world, it has definitely become easier to stay in your home.
Hikkikomori are directly caused by the ridiculous education expectations of young people and how there is no transition to adulthood which doesn't involve going through exam hell. So long as this system exists it is still going to produce Hikkikomori, but sadly this system has proven highly profitable for companies in these countries and beneficial for the governments. All the Singapore-style countries, South Korea especially have become world powers by breaking the eggs of youth mental health. It's completely barbaric but barring a total rejection of the Singapore socioeconomic model, it's going to stay. And it's making its way out of Asia at this point as well.
I don't think being a recluse is bad, in fact I think too many people just accept the social order and allow guilt mechanisms to dictate everything they do, but with hikkikomori it's a perfect storm of quiet / autistic kids being thrown into a hypercapitalist totalitarian hellscape which demands total robotic adherence, while at the same time having a hospitable traditional parent culture which still permits their children to stay at home forever. These conditions combined don't really exist (yet) outside of East Asia, so I don't think you should worry about getting as bad as that.
It wasn't my intent to come across as being the introverted type who is at risk, I have a solid social circle. It's just unfound fear of who I might have become, had I taken other choices in life.*
I wasn't aware it was exclusively for the pressure from a society (most often parents and school figures) which has extremely high expectations of its citizens and shames those who faulter the slightest. From the documentaries I watched, hikkikomoris themselves describe it as them being bullied into reclusion because of comparatively minor things, of what hobbies or behaviour one has. It would as you say definitely be exaggerated by potential autism. By the profits made by the corporations and companies, you mean that the culture itself which puts a great deal of prestige on hard work and good grades is good for business in that it's employees will always place social life second? As you noted on with cultural differences, I feel I shouldn't have approached this topic with a largely western mindset where individualism is king and compare it to a vastly different culture and society.
*** Some hikkikomoris are admittedly "normal people" who made one small mistake along their career or studies. Using examples from one of the documentaries, one university girl with a stable life and a boyfriend, failed 2-3 exams and seemed to give up on her studies altogether after the following immense depression. Another elderly man worked for over 40 years until his body gave up, only for him to abandon all forms of social life.
Speaking of Italy, food and Asia. I got spaghetti when I ordered noodles at the nearest Chinese restaurant, the owners are Chinese, so the local clientele is to blame for this chauvinistic behaviour. Talk about gluten intolerance.
Here "chinese food" in chinese restaurants is mostly just rice with pieces of poultry meat, with slight variations of sauce and vegetables. It's because the local chinese think that we are dumb and don't know what real chinese food is actually like. They are largely correct.