Video: Japan’s Naked Island Hermit

Living in the world’s most populous city sometimes makes us wish we lived on a deserted island where journeys don’t involve being pressed so close to complete strangers that you can taste their last meal. Though our daydreams of solitude rarely last more than a few minutes, one man actually acted on them – though admittedly for less selfish reasons than our general hatred of human beings.

On Sotobanari Island, an officially deserted piece of land 400km southwest of Okinawa, there lives a 78-year-old ex-photographer now known as ‘the naked man’. The Vice documentary below gives a 30-minute window into his existence.

As well as the intrigue of his back story and methods of survival, his interactions with the interviewer are hilarious – from his visible disappointment as she arrives on the island to his admission amidst laughter that he’s happier when nobody comes, and the way his endearing concern for her at one point is punctuated with the quiet announcement, “I don’t want to deal with an injured person.”

“I may not have any belongings or enough food or water, but I’d take this peacefulness over them any day.”

Click here for three more Vice documentaries on Japan.

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