‘Naked hermit’ who lived alone for 29 years says farewell to remote island

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'Naked hermit' who lived alone for 29 years says farewell to remote island

A Japanese castaway who spent nearly three decades living alone on a remote island before being forced back to civilization recently returned to his former home to say “farewell,” heartwarming video shows.

Masafumi Nagasaki, 87, was ordered by the Japanese government in 2018 to leave the island of Sotobanari, where he lived a life of solitude in the archipelago in the southwest of Okinawa Prefecture for 29 years as the “naked hermit.”

Nagasaki’s journey has been chronicled by Alvaro Cerezo, who documents island castaways and runs a company called Docastaway that drops tourists on deserted islands to live completely alone.

Nagaski, who is believed to have been a photographer before fleeing civilization, had wished to die alone on the isolated island and struggled to adapt to the intricacies of modern society in a Japanese city when he returned, Cerezo said.

Government officials gave him a bedroom and what was described as “very little money” to cover his basic necessities. Sadly, Nagaski has been unable to make many friends, as he had spent most of his time confined during the coronavirus pandemic.

Masafumi Nagasaki
Masafumi Nagasaki sits at a table while eating food on Sotobanari Island in 2012.
Reuters
Nagasaki was known as the “Naked Hermit.”
REUTERS

“His tiny room became like his desert island where he could isolate himself, as it was the only place where he was able to live with clothes off and feel free like he did for the last 29 years,” Cerezo wrote in a blog post.

To pass the time, Nagasaki would often collect trash from the street but grew disgusted by the amount of pollution created by city inhabitants, Cerezo said.

Video posted by Cerezo last week shows Nagasaki recently returning to Sotobanari, where he was able to say “farewell” to the place he lived undisturbed for decades. The elderly man got emotional as a boat returned him to the shoreline, where he hoisted his hands above his head, video shows.

The naked Nagasaki then laughed with joy while taking in his once-familiar surroundings and let out an unforgettable “pure expression of freedom,” Cerezo recalled.

Nagasaki has since returned to Ishigaki, Japan, where he’s living in a government-subsidized room, Cerezo told The Post on Monday.

Masafumi Nagasaki
Masafumi Nagasaki passed some time while living in civilization collecting trash.
Alvaro Cerezo
Masafumi Nagasaki
Masafumi Nagasaki cooks food at a room in Ishigaki, where he’s now living, Cerezo said.
Alvaro Cerezo

“Luckily, Nagasaki was not sad to leave” Sotobanari, Cerezo wrote. “It seemed he was satisfied to have had the opportunity to bid ‘farewell’ to his island. Perhaps in a few years from now, if he still desires to spend his last days on Sotobarani Island and feels his time is right and he is ready to depart this world, we will be there to help him undoubtedly.

“He has been the longest lasting voluntary castaway in history,” Cerezo claimed.

“I or my castaway clients normally stay alone on a desert island  for two weeks, maximum five. But Masafumi Nagasaki has spent 29 years! He is like a hero for us.

“What I also admire the most about is that, when he was younger, he was someone extremely unhappy, just like so many there are around us. He could have ended up with mental problems or addicted and making people around him unhappy.. But instead, he chose to be alone and have a wonderful life in the most beautiful paradise. He was extremely consistent.”

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