An 82-year-old Japanese hermit who “escaped” the entertainment industry and found bliss on a remote island has been yanked from his home of 29 years by Japanese authorities and taken to a government facility some 37 miles away.
Masafumi Nagasaki decided to live in solitude in 1989 after a friend told him about an archipelago in the southwest of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. He made his home on Sotobanari (“Outer Distant island”), a 1,000 meter-wide kidney-shaped island. Surviving on rice cakes and bottled water, Nagasaki rarely saw anyone outside of his weekly trips by boat to a settlement an hour away for provisions – paid for with a small stipend sent to him by his family.
Each day is conducted according to a strict timetable, starting with stretches in the sun on the beach. The rest is a race against time as he prepares food, washes and cleans his camp before the light fails and insects come out to bite. -Reuters
“Finding a place to die is an important thing to do, and I’ve decided here is the place for me,” he said.
Discovered in 2012 without clothes at the age of 76, Nagasaki became known as the “naked hermit” – and has chosen to stop hunting and fishing out of a sense of guilt over having to kill the few animals who also inhabit the island. Before his recent eviction, he spent five days with Alvaro Cerezo, who operates island touring company Docastaway.
Cerezo told news.com.au that Nagasaki was evicted after someone found him in a “weak” state on the island, despite his Nagasaki being in generally good health. He “probably only had the flu” when he was found, said Cerezo.
Nagasaki describes how a typhoon devastated the island in his second year – stripping it of vegetation and leaving him to bake in the sun. He persevered for 27 more years, adapting to his environment while learning to make due with virtually nothing.
He also described his perfect death, on the island in 2012 – his home of nearly three decades.
“It hadn’t really occurred to me before how important it is to choose the place of your death, like whether it’s in a hospital or at home with family by your side. But to die here, surrounded by nature — you just can’t beat it, can you?”
Finally, Nagaskai shared an insight that many in the current unstable world would do well to note.
When asked “What is the worst thing from civilization” his answer was simple – two words: “Money and religion.”
We wonder how many of the 29 years alone it took him to realize that.