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The place’s Nasubi Now From The Contestant? What Occurred to Tomoaki Hamatsu?

Earlier than the West’s fascination—obsession, actually—with actuality TV, there was Denpa Shonen, the place a Japanese man was left alone, bare in a room, for an entire yr within the hopes of successful a big money prize. Unbeknown to him, his expertise was being broadcast to hundreds of thousands of viewers. So the place is Nasubi now and what occurred to him after this unimaginable, if not ethically questionable, social experiment?

His story is the topic of The Contestant, a documentary by British filmmaker Clair Titley, accessible to stream on Hulu as of Could 2, 2024. Nasubi is the pseudonym of a Japanese comic, whose actual title is Tomoaki Hamatsu.

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In 1998, Nasubi thought he was auditioning for a TV present when producer Toshio Tsuchiya, enlisted him to participate in a problem. Remoted in an condominium devoid of furnishings and meals, Nasubi was ordered to strip bare. He was required to win all the pieces he wanted for each day dwelling by getting into contests from a pile of magazines offered to him, with the purpose of successful 1 million yen price of prizes (round $8,000) to finish the experiment.

Though Nasubi may have left at any time, his sheer willpower stored him within the room for 15 months, reduce off from all household contact. What Nasubi didn’t know was the viewers of 15 million watching his complete expertise. With out his data or consent, he turned essentially the most well-known man in Japan in a demented sort of Truman Present. So the place is Nasubi now? Learn on to search out out.

The place is Nasubi now?

Hamatsu nonetheless sometimes works as a comic and actor however spends most of his time as an activist and advocate, working to lift funds for his hometown of Fukushima which was devasted by an earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear catastrophe in 2011.

“The Contestant” is the incredible true story of a man who lived for 15 months trapped inside a small room, naked, starving and alone ... and completely unaware that his life was being broadcast on national TV in Japan, to over 15 million viewers a week.

“I need everybody to know the folks of Fukushima are working exhausting,” he advised the Related Press in April 2024. “Life is regularly returning to what was within the exclusion zones. After all, I notice the highway to decommissioning the nuclear vegetation continues to be a protracted battle. However I would really like folks to know the Fukushima of right this moment, really feel hope by visiting Fukushima and watch Fukushima rebuild.”

The documentary marks 25 years since he discovered himself an unwitting participant in a actuality TV present. “My intuition for survival kicked in, so I simply needed to survive and do no matter to get out of this. So I’ve to realize this sweepstake purpose to get out,” he advised TVInsider, reflecting on his time on the present in an interview translated from Japanese.

“So each time I acquired the little product within the contest, I acquired a pleasure—that was a extremely real pleasure that I felt, but it surely was on the identical time it was a struggle with solitude, loneliness, and all different issues. So I noticed that my coronary heart was breaking little by little, and so I couldn’t actually afford to consider making folks chortle on the finish. It was my intuition for survival to kick in.”

He continued, explaining how he’s leveraged his fame as a platform from which to do good. “It’s a protracted journey for me to make my coronary heart right into a optimistic motion, geared to the optimistic issues however when in 2011 went enormous East Japan earthquake hit. I’m from Fukushima, so I went to the affected space, and folks there have been completely satisfied, inspired by me. As a result of on this location, folks have been complaining about, “There’s no privateness, there’s not sufficient meals,” after which they bear in mind me. I had nothing, so I may inform them, ‘At the very least you’ve a human contact. It is vitally wholesome for you that you’re surrounded by these fellow individuals who take care of one another.’”

He concluded: “In order that sort of factor turned greater due to my expertise of this actuality present. I may assist folks in that means and provides new hope. And say they stated they notice, ‘Oh, you have been consuming pet food. We’re consuming human meals,’ that sort of factor. … Typically I felt like I shouldn’t have completed the truth present, however now I really feel like I needed to dwell with it and make a use of it.”

The Contestant is obtainable to stream on hulu now.

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