Documentaries

The Last Man Of Fukushima: How One Farmer Stayed In The Danger Zone To Feed The Animals

'Alone in the zone' is an inspirational story of love and hope

This fascinating mini-documentary by Vice follows the story of Naoto Matsumura, a farmer who stayed in Fukushima to feed the abandoned animals after the town was evacuated four years ago this month.

Taking a great risk to his health, Matsumura (whose nickname is Macchan), returned to the town which was devastated by nuclear disaster following the Japanese tsunami in spring 2011. He just wanted to feed the dogs, and it wasn’t his intention to stay. But knowing that Fukushima‘s 15,500 residents would probably never return to care for their pets, Macchan couldn’t stand the thought of leaving them to die.

He began feeding the town’s animals every day, looking after cows, cats, horses and even ostriches in addition to the dogs. Macchan, 56, tells Vice that the silence was the most difficult thing to get used to when he first began his work. “Loneliness doesn’t quite cover it,” he says softly. Despite the eerie atmosphere and clear danger, Macchan, who lives in a small town seven miles from the reactor, couldn’t possibly give up. He has developed a strong bond to the animals and has even reared their young in the four years that have passed since Fukushima became a ghost town.

Macchan’s compassion is only possible with donations. You can support this wonderful man’s work here.

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