top of page

A real-life Robinson Crusoe

Masafumi Nagasaki lives on Sotobanari, a deserted tropical island south of mainland Japan. And the 82-year-old (and what an incredible active 82-year-old he is) has been there for 29 years.

It would be easy to assume that Nagasaki is perhaps a little deranged. But if you listen to this interview, you'd see how sharp his mind still is - each question is evaluated carefully, and he answers with aplomb.


It would also be easy to assume that Nagasaki is perhaps a social outcast, who ended up on the island because he couldn't fit in with society. But Nagasaki describes himself as a positive person, and if you observe his mannerism and his words, he seems to live up to his claim. You can evidently see the sparkle in those weathered eyes when he talks about nature. And there is certitude about his satisfaction with his life, a satisfaction that some of us, living seemingly better and more comfortable lives, don't seem to have. 

I've been a positive person all my life. As an optimist, I always tried to find my place. I ended up here because I am positive. I know it was the right decision.


I won't leave, even if someone tells me there is a better place. All I want I can find here. I don't need anything else. This nature is so amazing for me. I'd never find another paradise like this.


The environment has changed me without me even realising it. That's why I stopped fishing. I feel sorry for the fish. I realised that animals only attack for survival. For example, a mosquito bites for reproduction. But animals don't hurt others without a purpose. Only humans take action without a purpose. Only human take action driven by their own selfishness. 


There are also turtles laying eggs on this island. I  cannot bring myself to eat those eggs. I've seen those baby turtles being born and crawling towards the sea. It still gives me goosebumps when I see that. It makes me think about how wonderful life is. This environment made me feel like that. This island really changed me.

bottom of page