☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


Saturday & Sunday Word: Weltschmerz & Hikikomori

welt·schmerz [ˈvelt-ˌshmerts\]:
origin: (1864) German; Welt= world + Schmerz= ache or pain, See also: "world grief"

World weary; a depression or malaise brought on by the evils of the world being in conflict with one's own imagination, hopes, or idealism.

example: Willy Wonka suffered from a terrible case of weltschmerz after having his recipes stolen by employees, which caused him to close his world famous chocolate factory "forever".

hi·ki·ko·mo·ri [ˈhee-key-koe-more-eeˌ]:
origin: (1990's) Japanese; ひきこもり = "pulling inward"

An extreme form of weltschmerz; a person isolated & crippled by their inability to match up to society's expectations, leading to extreme alienation and escapism.

Japanese males, with the traditional role of "head of household" resting on their shoulders (that they are expected to fulfill), are especially vulnerable to this syndrome; there is a lot of shame connected to this disorder. Compare with "Freeter" or UK's "NEETS". That is the young person gives up, due to failed accomplishments, stunted career choices, and/or possible depression, and finds that their short-comings make it impossible for them to interact -- that they have no place in society. It is a terrible catch 22 of a psychological phenomena.

example: Welcome to the N.H.K. is an anime series that realistically, and in an entertaining fashion, deals with the Japanese-coined "hikikomori" syndrome in modern society.

Tags: german, h, japanese, medical, noun, w, wordsmith: theidolhands

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