Mike Hannon is the director and producer of the forthcoming documentary film The Cloud of Unknowing, about a contemporary Irish hermit. An excerpt is available at Vimeo. Hannon comments on the film:
The Cloud of Unknowing is a nineteen minute documentary on a modern day hermit who dedicated his life to the mystical tradition of contemplative prayer. Rodney Thompson, a Cork man, spent almost thirty years in an isolated cottage in Connemara in pursuit of solitude, silence and prayer. Without electricity or running water, Mr Thompson lived simply, prayed ceaselessly and welcomed visitors to his hermitage close to Roundstone, Galway.
Filled with majestic vistas and robust Connemara weather, the film allows the viewer to step into the mind of a hermit, as the natural world unfolds at an unhurried pace.
Several media items from Japan cover a proposed survey of hikikomori by the Japanese government’s Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry. From Japan Times:
The government has allocated ¥20 million from the fiscal 2018 budget to finance research for Japan’s first nationwide survey on middle-aged hikikomori — people who have shut themselves in their homes.
The survey, to take place in fiscal 2018 starting April 1, will be held amid growing calls for public assistance to help aged parents take care of their jobless, financially dependent and socially withdrawn children.
The survey will cover 5,000 randomly selected households with members aged between 40 and 59, to identify the total number of middle-aged social recluses in Japan.
URL: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/07/national/japans-first-nationwide-survey-middle-aged-hikikomori-pipeline/#.WlvGO0tG3eQ (Japan Times); http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004166783 (Japan News); https://www.nippon.com/en/genre/society/l10718/ (Nippon.com)
A couple of introversion life-style pieces for a popular audience: “Living as an Introvert in an Extrovert World” in The Week addresses the social angle, while “Introverts, Hermits, And The Shy: Here’s Your Map To Success” in Forbes interviews a writer focused on jobs and careers.
Introverts will recognize the socializing issues immediately. The jogs and careers issues are more of a challenge. Since the 2012 appearance of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, a number of essays and articles have tried to “rehabilitate” introverts, to reassure them that they, too, can embrace the world of competition and claw their way to upward nobility. Usually this tact is addressed when discussing mental health like stress and burn-out and coping methods that poorly imitate meditation, and can be offensive. But more sensitive articles emphasize the existence of jobs that introverts actually like, occupations not quite as solitary as historically solitary jobs of lighthouse keepers or charcoal burners, of course. And that is the key. Introverts in occupations that highlight their mental or tactile skills versus their personality tip the perception of others favorably. But in the world of higher competition usually favored by magaines like Forbes, no safe advice is guaranteed.
URL: http://theweek.com/articles/747284/living-introvert-extroverts-world (The Week); https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2018/01/03/introverts-hermits-and-the-shy-heres-your-map-to-success/#1ed6bc3ec6a2 (Forbes)
Edward A. Burger is the director of Amongst White Clouds, the 2005 documentary film on the Chinese hermits of the Zhongnan Mountains. In October 2011, Burger was interviewed by Kyoto Journal on questions about the hermits: their inspiration, practice, and daily life, and how it affected Burger.