Sunday, June 23, 2024

Breaking Island News

Japan: Authorities Force Island Hermit to Abandon Desert Island Home

After 29 years of solitude on Sotobanari Island, Japanese authorities have forced 82-year old island hermit Masafumi Nagasaki to abandon his desert island home.

  • 82-year-old Masafumi Nagasaki swapped civilization for a life of solitude back in 1989, setting up base on the island of Sotobanari (Japan)
  • After 29 years of living the castaway lifestyle, Nagasaki has now been forced to return to civilization after being found unwell by police
  • Nagasaki now faces a struggle to return to his island home after Japanese authorities have rehoused him in a government home in Ishigaki City

(Sotobanari Image Courtesy of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport)

An 82-year-old island hermit has been evicted from his home and denied the opportunity to return by Japanese authorities.

Masafumi Nagasaki – the world’s longest-serving island castaway – was recently found on Sotobanari Island in a weakened state by worried local police.

After seeking medical treatment, the hermit has now been taken to live in a government house in Ishigaki City – where it looks like he will be forced to remain. The wiry 82-year-old had previously been quoted by Reuters as wishing to die on the island, but it seems that that wish is now in jeopardy.

Nagasaki moved to the tiny island of Sotobanari back in 1989, making him the longest (known) lasting island hermit worldwide.

Home to scores of biting insects and at the mercy of the elements, Sotobanari (Japanese for Outer Distant Island) might not be everyone’s idea of paradise, but for Nagasaki, the kidney-shaped island in the Okinawa Prefecture soon became home.

After enduring a few initial setbacks (a typhoon swept away all of his belongings), the wiry island hermit soon settled into a new nomadic way of life, fully submitting to nature and filling his time with a strict timetable of stretches, beach-combing and weekly trips to the mainland to stock up on drinking water and rice cakes.

“Here, on the island I don’t do what people tell me to do, I just follow nature’s rules. You can’t dominate nature so you have to obey it completely. That’s what I learned when I came here, and that’s probably why I get by so well,” explained the island hermit. “I don’t want to move from here, I will protect this island. I will risk my life to protect this island. I will never find a paradise like this.”

Speaking in journalists in 2012, Nagasaki was determined that the island would be his final resting place. “Finding a place to die is an important thing to do, and I’ve decided here is the place for me,” he explained. “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?”

Read more:

You must be logged in to post a comment.