'Naked Hermit' Removed From Island After 30 Years Alone

Masafumi Nagasaki wanted to die in his island 'paradise,' but officials finally kicked him out
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2018 8:21 AM CDT

He used to be a city boy with zero experience with the great outdoors. But that didn't stop Masafumi Nagasaki from heading to the uninhabited Japanese island of Sotobanari for what he thought would be a two-year respite from the rest of the world. That was in 1989, as the man who came to be known as the "naked hermit" ended up sticking around until this past April, a nearly 30-year stay all by his lonesome. The 82-year-old, who long ago eschewed clothing, technology, and other creature comforts and had hoped to die on the island, was removed earlier this year after someone reportedly called authorities out of concern he'd become too weak, documentary maker Alvaro Cerezo tells News.com.au. "They took him back to civilization and that's it," Cerezo says. "They won't allow him to return."

Cerezo spent five days with Nagasaki before he was booted from his "paradise," where he insists he was never lonely, bored, or sad. A 2012 Reuters article reported Nagasaki did don clothing once a week to make a boat trip to a settlement an hour away to buy food and water; he'd also collect an allowance sent from his family. Speaking of family, Nagasaki was once married and may have had a couple of kids, but he "doesn't like to talk about his past," Cerezo notes. What he missed most from his former life while he was holed up on the island: lighters, per the documentary. What he didn't miss: money and religion. "[Those] two things are destroying the world," he says. He also wished he could have been killed by a typhoon during his stay so "nobody [would] try to save me." Nagasaki is now living in a government house in a city about 40 miles away from his beloved island. (This man is one of central Europe's last hermits.)

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