Naoto Matsumura, a Japanese farmer, lives in the ghost city of Tomioka, situated six miles away from the Fukushima-I nuclear power plant.
After the Fukushima tragedy in 2011, over 150,000 people left their homes and shifted to safer areas. The Japanese government order to leave the exclusion zone, meant Naoto along with his parents left his farm. But he missed his home terribly and couldn’t stop thinking about all the animals that were left behind. Naota then took the best decision of his life.
He returned to Tomioka to lend support to abandoned animals as they struggled to live. And the world now knows him as a hero. He took a tough call of choosing between what’s easy and what’s right. He chose the latter. Today, Naoto Matsumura is the guardian of Fukushima’s animals because he is the only person who decided to live in the contaminated zone.
He searched the entire town, looking for as many animals as he could and left them with sufficient food and water so they could survive. While he was doing this, he found 120 dead cows in one of the barns. Sadly, the authorities at Fukushima launched a campaign to kill the surviving animals. But Matsumura stood up for them and took it upon himself to save his four-legged friends.
Naoto has constructed a barn to take care of 31 cows. Not only that, he looks after several cats, dogs, pigs, and also an ostrich. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know, that in his effort to save animals he is only dependent on donations.
Naoto is aware that the radiation is harmful to his health, and is slowly killing him, but he doesn’t care. He says, ‘the doctors told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less’, says this selfless and big-hearted man.’