Seren’s short story for August comes from writer and translator Eluned Gramich. Eluned’s story, Pulling Out, highlights a developing problem in Japan of young men and women withdrawing from everyday life, locking themselves away in their bedrooms.
These young people, known as Hikkokomori (literally translated ‘pulling inwards’), suffer from acute social anxieties and depressions, caused by an inability to cope with modern-day pressures. These reclusive men and women are said to number over 700,000, but in reality the number is unknown and may well be far higher.
Eluned has published short stories in Rarebit: An Anthology of Welsh Fiction, Stand, Planet Magazine and Notes from the Underground. After living in Tokyo for two years on the Daiwa Scholarship, she now lives in Cardiff where she is working on her first novel. You can read Pulling Out here.