Truth.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Ariel Durant

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Japanese version of Tom Neale.

I was going through the last post, reading comments and responding. Michael sent me a link to a story about a Japanese hermit who lived on an island all alone.  I thought it would be amusing at first, but it was actually a serious story.

Almost everyone who is really trying to live the self sufficient lifestyle has heard of Tom Neale, the New Zealander who lived the last part of his life on a deserted island.  Lots of people have read his book, which is excellent.



The old gentleman in the Japanese film had chosen to do the same thing. I was really surprised at the many similarities between his life, and the way Neale lived.  They had a lot in common in terms of their philosophies of how mankind should coexist with nature.

Neal always put on some shorts when visitors arrived at his island, and went stark the rest of the time.
The Japanese are totally unconcerned about nudity, it's part of their culture. So the fellow in the Japanese video stayed in the buff. They blurred out any parts of his anatomy that might make westerners fall over in a dead faint though.

The other thing  that's different ,is that the Japanese have  a very natural sense of humor, and aren't embarrassed by things we would consider vulgar. When I was in Japan in  1979-1980 for 13 months, I sometimes watched Japanese television and I would be amazed at some of the shows and advertisements. At the time, if anyone had put some of those things on American TV they'd have gone to prison.  So you'll notice one instance when the old guy on the island makes a joke that we would consider very coarse, but it really isn't if you think about it.




The "hermit"was very articulate and I thought a lot of what he said was spot on.  I watched the whole thing, something I almost never manage to do with youtube videos unless they are really short.

The man is a first class survivalist, although he probably doesn't think of himself that way.

12 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    The old guy on that island has the right idea.

    That was one of the better video's I have seen in awhile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so, too. I would love to live on an island like that. I just want my compound, supplies, weapons, etc with me.
      I admire people who have the intestinal fortitude to "go all the way" with living the ascetic lifestyle.

      Delete
  2. Oh good a new book to read! I haven't heard of this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a classic in the survivalist community, or at least, it was when it was not a "prepper" oriented life style. I think you would enjoy it.

      Delete
  3. I shall have to look for Mr Neale's book. Sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the man had an incredible life, and lived it to the fullest. His book is really good, though I think he had someone write it with him. Didn't detract any from the story. Remember the guy who went up to Alaska and lived totally alone in the 1960's. He filmed his set up with an old 8mm camera. I can't remember his name to save my life, but it started with a P I believe. Anyway, Neale and that fellow lived pretty much the same spartan existence, just in different environments. I keep meaning to buy the DVD they made out of the man's two feature films, I need to get off of top dead center and do that.

      Delete
    2. Yes the guy in Alaska was Richard Proenneke. I have seen the PBS series on him.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke
      It is one of the reason I like the recent "Last Alaskans" series on Discovery. Its the documentary about the last 7 families permitted to live in ANWAR.

      Delete
    3. That's the guy. There have always been people, I suppose, who were willing to give up all the amenities of life in exchange for tranquility and peace of mind.

      Delete
  4. Ever read the accounts of Hiroo Onada? Lived in the jungles for thirty years AND waged a guerilla war. Some adventurer finally found him in '74 and convinced him the war was over. They had to find his old commanding officer, fly him out there, and order him to stand down.

    When they put theor minds to something, those Japanese can be pretty tenacious.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember when he came out of the jungle. Only surrendered when his old commanding officer ordered him too. His book, No Surrender, My Thirty Year War, is very uplifting. It's worth noting that he found modern Japan "very disappointing."

    I like the Japanese. My dad hated them til the day he died.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's *very* interesting is that after fighting for 30 years, he was quite the nationalist and was a far cry from the post-war Japanese society that avoided even the pretense of militarism. Onada was unabashedly nationalist, but I reckon when youre fighting a lone rear-guard action for 30 years you tend to become quite the True Believer.

      Delete
    2. The guy was hard core. He was widely admired by my old Marine Corps buddies, I remember.

      He was cut in the Samurai mold, disappeared from society for 30 years, and came back to find boys wearing cosmetics and love of country replaced by love of money. I can't blame him for being pissed off. Teno Heika Banzai!

      天皇陛下万歳

      Delete