When the Japanese nuclear power plant had that massive radiation leak last year, the entire region was evacuated. People were told to grab their most important posessions and leave immediately. Everyone did leave....except for one man. Naoto Matsumura. He stayed, sacrificing his health and his chance to live a normal life. Why would he do this? Because he could not stand to see all the animals who were left there die a miserable death.
Cows, sheep, dogs, cats, and so many more are all being fed and cared for by Naoto. He even is attempting to help a stray ostrich, nicknamed "Boss." However, "Boss" has a mind of her own and runs away everytime Naoto tries to get close or feed her. When you think about what he is giving up by living in a nuclear radiation zone, it makes his selfless actions even more amazing. He has sacrificed everything for these animals. Many were left to die by their owners. Cows were chained to their stalls and doomed to a horrible death. Cats and dogs were everywhere with nothing to eat. When Naoto started taking care of the animals, their lives were saved.
He lives a solitary existence on tainted ground, eating Ramen noodles cooked with mineral water that he found in abandoned houses. He also loves the mushrooms he finds in the nearby forest, even though they are incredibly radioactive. Naoto Matsumura is a man who has given the ultimate sacrifice, his life, to care for other helpless creatures. There are lessons that can be learned from his actions.
At this point, they are trying to set up a Paypal account so Americans could contribute to the welfare of the animals. If people want to donate now though, there is an account set up at Naoto Matsumura's Japanese Bank. Here is that account information:
東邦銀行 安積支店 普通 NO６３６７８９ 松村直登
Toho Ginko (bank), Asaka Shiten (branch), No 636789 , Matsumura Naoto
I know that the next time I doubt humanity, I will think of Naoto Matsumura. The thought of him will inspire me and make me realize that any human being has the ability to do great things and inspire the rest of us.
[photos courtesy of Naoto Matsumura]