Although most island castaways are forced to survive on their own until they find rescue, Masafumi Nagasaki was the opposite. He chose to walk away from civilization in the late 1980s and made the Sotobanari island his home. For over three decades, he lived alone on a rarely-visited island. Because of the currents, fishermen don’t even go near the island, according to the Daily Mail.
However, police were reportedly called to rescue the 82-year-old man who appeared “weak.” However, a filmmaker who made a video about the man and island said that Nagasaki “probably only had the flu.”
The island is about a kilometer wide, and it wasn’t until 2012 that the public even knew of the man. Sotobanari is in the Okinawa prefecture and is close to Taiwan.
Nagasaki described his intentions.
“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 … That’s what I learned when I came here, and that’s probably why I get by so well.”
He also previously said that he planned to die on the island.
“Finding a place to die is an important thing to do, and I’ve decided here is the place for me … 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?”
Unfortunately for Nagasaki, it appears that he will be forced to live out the remainder of his life in civilization.
Nagasaki spent all of his time naked on the island, saying that a typhoon washed his clothes away. For him, it was comfortable and made sense to be naked on the island. He reportedly also traveled to a nearby island to buy rice cakes and water with money that his family sent to him.
Filmmaker Alvaro Cerezo, who made a video about the island and Nagasaki, said that “I have never seen a beach as clean as his, not even in the most luxurious island resorts,” according to USA Today.
Cerezo also added that some people reported the hermit for looking weak, and they “called the police and they took him back to civilization and that’s it. He couldn’t even fight back because he was weak. They won’t allow him to return.” Cerezo continued to say that “His health is OK, he was probably only sick or had the flu but they won’t allow him to go back any more, he cannot go there, it’s over.”
It’s unclear who the people were that reported the hermit to the police, but it’s possible that they were in the area because of the video that was made about him. For now, it appears that Nagasaki has no option but to stay in the government housing.