Japanese Man Has Lived As A Naked Hermit For 20 Years On A Deserted Island

s1.reutersmedia.netIntroducing my hero. The retired ex-photographer lives, naked and alone, on Sotobanari island, cut off from the rest of the world by typhoons and dangerous currents. Reuters has photos and philosophy from a man forging his own lifestyle:

76-year-old Masafumi Nagasaki has made this kidney-shaped island in Japan’s tropical Okinawa prefecture his retirement home. He braves lashing typhoons and biting insects as a hermit in the buff. “I don’t do what society tells me, but I do follow the rules of the natural world. You can’t beat nature so you just have to obey it completely,” he said.

The wiry Nagasaki, his skin leathered by the sun of two decades on the island, worked briefly as a photographer before spending years on the murkier side of the entertainment industry. When retirement came, he wanted to get far away from it all.

He chose Sotobanari, which is roughly a 1,000 meters across and means “Outer Distant island” in the local dialect. It lies off the coast of Iriomote island, far closer to Taiwan than to Tokyo.

His staple food is rice cakes, which he boils in water, eating whenever hunger strikes – sometimes four or five times a day. Water for bathing and shaving comes from rainwater caught in a system of battered cooking pots. 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.

“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?”

18 Comments on "Japanese Man Has Lived As A Naked Hermit For 20 Years On A Deserted Island"

  1. he needs some coochi

  2. Jesus Borg | Apr 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    He better eat more than rice cakes or he will get beri beri. Cool story though.

  3. more power to him. hurting no one, needing attention from no one and gets featured in a cool article to me thats a type of success

    • There’s certainly something attractive about that kind of self-sufficiency. Me? I’m too spoiled by modern technology and enjoy the company of others.

      • i enjoy the company of cash, taken from others. 

      • The Jig Is Up | Apr 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

        the old japanese guy is not self-sufficient.

        his family sends him $120 (presumably per week or per month, though the article’s unclear). he uses the money to buy food and sundries.

        in other words, he’s a trust-fund hippie.

        • BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Where’s his fixie and ironic sunglasses? A meme is born…

        • He claims to have retired to that island, so maybe that money they send is his. Also, they obviously want to send him the money or they wouldn’t. 

        • Jin The Ninja | Apr 20, 2012 at 5:08 am |

          120$ a month, in japan, is not a exactly a large dividend. it’s probably a small portion of his pension.

  4. I bet he has a special coconut with a hole in it.

  5. 1captainhooker1 | Apr 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

    eat your heart out, thoreau

  6. “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.”
    Did anyone else think of Minecraft as they read this?

  7. nay-sayers can try all they want to poke holes in this guy’s life choice. so what if he needs support from others, no man is an island… but he can dream of living on one! i know i have many, many times..

  8. I have had the privilege of living like this from time to time.

    Once you can eliminate most of civilizations trappings
    you discover the flow of nature
    its sustaining support and
    its awesome power.

  9. Me: Can’t beat nature? Tell that to the Everglades. 

    Naked hermit: What Everglades?

    Me: Exactly.

  10. lightBright | Apr 22, 2012 at 3:21 am |

    I just hope this publicity doesn’t ruin his angle.

Comments are closed.