Naoto Matsumura has been dubbed the “Guardian of Fukushima’s animals” after deciding to forego his risk of contamination to look after animals caught in the 12.5-mile exclusion zone.
The fifth-generation farmer’s hometown of Tomioka was affected by the nuclear meltdown of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant four years ago.
The disaster, brought on by a tsunami and earthquake saw thousands of citizens unsettled and countless animals left behind.
After experiencing the over-crowded refugee camps and being spurned by his aunt who feared he was contaminated, he decided to return home to check on his family’s farm animals.
What he found was a wasteland, with hundreds of starving animals. He decided to remain in the toxic environment, live a simple, solitary life and tend to the animals.
The selfless 55-year-old worked out that by the time the radiation would have an impact upon him he would be close to dying a natural death anyway. He lives on food provided for him from outside the exclusion zone and relies on donations to feed the animals.