Japanese man forced to leave island where he lived for 29 years in solitude

Mr Nagasaki, 82, lived on the deserted island of Sotobanari, which is part of the Okinawa Prefecture, for 29 years.
Mr Nagasaki, 82, lived on the deserted island of Sotobanari, which is part of the Okinawa Prefecture, for 29 years.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/DOCASTAWAY

He had found paradise on a deserted island in Japan and lived there for 29 years, but Mr Masafumi Nagasaki was removed from his home recently by the authorities.

Mr Nagasaki, 82, was taken away from Sotobanari, which is part of the Okinawa Prefecture, in April after a group of people reported that the man appeared to be in poor health, reported the Telegraph on Wednesday (June 27).

After police picked him up from the island in April, he has been living in a government house on Ishigaki island - 60km away from his beloved island.

When he was found by the authorities, Mr Nagasaki "probably only had the flu", but is now not allowed to go back to the island which he calls paradise, said documentary maker Alvaro Cerezo who has been in touch with the Japanese man since 2014.

Mr Nagasaki had chosen to live on Sotobanari in 1989 to escape from urban life, and has previously said that he wants to die on the island.

The recluse, who was married and had two children, had wanted to stay on the island for just a few years. But he grew to enjoy living in solitude so much that he decided to make it his home.

"In civilisation, people treated me like an idiot and made me feel like one", he once told Mr Cerezo. "On this island, I don't feel like that."

"Here on the island, I don't do what people tell me to do, I just follow nature's rules," he added. "You cannot dominate nature, so you have to obey it completely."

In his first few years on the island, Mr Nagasaki wore clothes, but after a typhoon swept away most of his things, he decided to just go about life in the nude.

His daily routine involved staying inside his tent after the sun sets, to avoid being bitten by insects, and exercising on the beach in the morning.

The rest of the day, Mr Nagasaki would search for food and clean up the beach.

To clean himself, he would use water collected from rain in buckets, reported the Telegraph.

Every week, he would dress himself and travel to a neighbouring island to buy food and drinking water using 10,000 yen (S$124) sent to him by his family.

He once told Mr Cerezo that he would never leave the island. "All that I want I can find here. I don't need anything else," he reportedly said.

"I've already told my family that I will die here," he added. "I want to be killed by a typhoon so nobody can try to save me."