Shiko Ishii has published the 400th edition of Fonte, a newspaper for Japanese hikikomori, a newspaper he himself founded at age 16 when he became a recluse.
The Fonte newspaper for people who have stopped going to school or withdrawn from society printed its 400th issue this month.
It was a special moment for Shiko Ishii, 32, the newspaper’s chief editor. He still remembers Fonte’s first issue in 1998 — it featured an interview with him as a 16-year-old who had stopped going to school.
“I had doubts about the point of studying just to pass exams, so I stopped going during my second year at middle school,” he said.
At the time, Ishii felt bad for his parents because he could not go to school like other children. He often thought about dying. “Nobody around me felt the way I was feeling,” Ishii recalled. “That was the toughest part.”
After being interviewed in 1998, Ishii’s outlook changed. “I thought perhaps my own experience might be able to help somebody else,” he said.