After watching Welcome to the N.H.K., it got me wondering if this story had been based on a real conspiracy.

According to Wikipedia,

[...] The story revolves around a 22-year-old asocial individual who gets aid from a strange girl who seems to know a lot about him, despite never having met him before. A common theme throughout the story deals with the hardships of life and how people must deal with them in their own way.


In Japan, NHK refers to the public broadcaster Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai, but within the series, the main character believes it stands for Nihon Hikikomori Kyōkai (日本引きこもり協会, The Japanese Hikikomori Association), which is a reference to the protagonist's claim of a subversive conspiracy led by NHK (the real-life broadcaster) to create hikikomori. [...]

I haven't read through the article about hikikomori's yet, but as far as I remember, too many people end up living in seclusion in Japan for it to be just a coincidence.

Was there ever a conspiracy or claims that there might be a company or organisation that would promote people to live their lives in seclusion?

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    "Being alone is best. I mean, it's true, isn't it? In the end you'll be absolutely alone; therefore, being alone is natural. If you accept that, nothing bad can happen..." – кяαzєя Jun 24 '14 at 14:23

I'm pretty sure Welcome to the N.H.K. isn't based on an actual conspiracy story. It's not mentioned in any interviews or commentary sections of the media.

I would imagine however, that the conspiracy is somewhat based on the author Tatsuhiko Takimoto's personal experience living as a self-proclaimed "top-runner" hikkomori. In the light novel afterword, it informs us that he primarily lives off royalties of his novels.

The 'conspiracy' is mostly a commentary on how the mundane life of TV and seclusion is easy to fall into - because of the attraction of broadcast media's element of fantasy, such as produced by NHK TV - and the lack of immediate consequence if should one fall into a hikkomori lifestyle. So it could seem like there are conspirators trying to keep hikkomoris as hikkomoris.

Hikkomoris feel trapped because they usually have little social or commercially valuable skills meaning it is hard to get a job or contribute to society (Especially as Japan job system is pretty much school -> college -> job or via social contacts) - and on the flip side, it is much easier to stay indoors and watch another episode of the latest airing anime.

This isn't his first novel dealing with the issue of life indirection either - Happy Negative Chainsaw Edge. So it is an issue that is close to his heart - perhaps he himself believes there is a conspiracy.

This fan blog post is a pretty great for reference for N.H.K. stuff in general

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