“Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing.” -Soichiro Honda
Hello. My name is Tatsuhiro and here is a brief story about how I came up with the idea of Hikikomori Token.
I used to be a cog in the well-oiled machine of societal expectations, but that all changed six years ago. My last and final job was in the IT sector, where I was moderately successful because I had learned to adhere to the strict code of conformity.
Before that, I held other positions, with some being in government. The work I specialized in was mostly technical — electronics engineering, networking and security, light programming and more.
Over the course of my life, I have discovered that no matter where you are professionally — whether it be a simple janitor cleaning up messes or an executive making “important” decisions — the human condition is always present, and not always pretty.
For years I slaved as if I was a mindless robot, doing what I was told and, later on, making others do what I told them to do. I am fortunate that I did not suffer karōshi (work to death), as the hours were endless and my life’s sole focus was career success.
Around 2015, I experienced a health setback that left me jobless. I did not recover from this, although I did stay somewhat afloat through menial work.
During this time, I fell into a deep depression because I thought that I was a burden on family and friends. Feelings of worthlessness and guilt plagued my mind until I eventually withdrew and confined myself to a small apartment.
This is where I stayed and how I became hikikomori.
In short, the word means a withdrawal from everything normal (society) and isolating oneself for extended periods. I explained it more on the project website, hikitoken.com.
At one point, I developed a mild psychosis and was treated medically. After recovering, I devoted myself to a number of projects to attain a feeling of worth, but because of the stigma of recluses such as myself, it was never truly realized.
Physical relationships turned into virtual ones, and I spoke to other hikikomori online where we discussed various interests.
One acquaintance introduced me to the world of cryptocurrency. I experimented with trading cheap coins, learned how to read charts, and eventually developed some knowledge on coding with Solidity.
Described as a programming language that is easy to learn for technical people, it immediately captured my interest and I began using it on Ropsten, an Ethereum testnet.
After much trial and error, I finally launched some live currencies. The first one proved I still had much to learn, as its total supply was only 0.05 because of a decimal miscalculation.
A few tokens later, I felt like I was getting the hang of it and implemented more complicated code functions.
It was not until then that I experienced an epiphany: not every new currency has to have extreme functions (ex. fee distributions, burns, astronomically large supplies, etc). After all, the more coding there is, the more potential vulnerabilities there are.
Perhaps a simple token would suffice, as long as it had a unique purpose.
Honestly, hikikomori was not the first thing to come to mind. I pondered on other ideas, but eventually came back to what I knew on a personal level.
After some planning and structuring, I released Hikikomori Token (HIKI) on the Binance Smart Chain. The reason why I used BSC is mostly because of the affordable transaction fees. Unfortunately, Ethereum has become so popular and mainstream that even making a simple transfer is costly.
I was never fond of the term “social justice,” so I coined a new term, which is specific to the cryptocurrency ecosystem: ‘Awareness Token.’
HIKI’s main goal is not overwhelming financial success (though, it is always nice), but to be a digital billboard that raises eyebrows.
Most people have never heard the word “hikikomori,” or know what it stands for.
Now, when people see the token, they might rush to a translator and look the word up in their native language.
As I explained on the HIKI website, even though the phenomena may be more abundant in Japan than other countries, it still exists everywhere.
Whatever happened to that old colleague from a few years ago you went out for drinks with after work?
How about the family member you haven’t spoken to in a while? Maybe their social media seems fine, but perhaps they are feeling secluded and lonely.
I believe that if this project is successful, other tokens like HIKI will emerge aiming to bring about awareness to important issues.
“Vote with your dollar” is a common expression used nowadays.
Perhaps “Inform with your token,” or something to that effect, will be one too.