Japanese 'Poop Soil Master' Has Been Defecating Outdoors For 45 Years
A conservationist and former mushroom photographer in Japan is so committed to being at one with nature that he's been defecating outdoors for the past 45 years.
Masana Izawa, 69, took to relieving himself out in the open air near his home in the Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, back in 1974.
He was first inspired to do so in protest of a waste treatment plant being built, having seen the 'dead river' of faeces that ran through his neighbourhood.
Angry that no one seemed willing to take ownership of their waste, he decided he would do precisely that - and several decades later, he's still at it.
Speaking to The Mirror, Izawa said he stands by the practice as he sees it as our way of 'giving back'.
Recalling his first al fresco toilet trip, Izawa said: "Even though it was very different from the previous defecation in the toilet, it was not physically and mentally uncomfortable."
Izawa said he found 'great joy' over the responsibility he was taking with his excretions, and hasn't looked back ever since.
"To eat is to take life, but it's also our right," he added.
"To poop is a responsibility we need to be aware of. To poop outdoors is a way of giving back life."
Izawa did admit there have been some backlash to his unorthodox habit, but maintains that he's doing nothing wrong.
"There are criticisms of noguso (outdoor defecating), with some saying that it's unsanitary, dangerous, illegal etc," he said.
"But I have never been told not to do it."
With The Mirror reporting that if authorities ever stumbled upon Izawa, the punishment would likely be a fine of 10,000 Yen (£71), he says he's actually only ever been caught in the act once, by a homeless man in Tokyo.
As for what others can do if they want to follow in his footsteps? Izawa says you should select an appropriate location so you don't end up contaminating the alpine zone and water source where the decomposition power is weak, ensuring you dig a hole and fill it.
Speaking to the The Japan Times about his unusual habit last year, Izawa explained: "'Fundoshi' usually means 'loincloth', but I use different kanji in a wordplay for it to mean 'poop soil master'.
"I'm an activist trying to change people's way of thinking, using the symbolism of poop.
"I was a fungi photographer when I started, but I'm now a professional fundoshi. I even write that on my tax papers."
Recommending suitable foliage to wipe one's rear, he continued: "Paulownia, crimson glory vine, silver poplar, lamb's ear, silverleaf sunflower, to name a few. There are so many soft, absorbent leaves out there."
And if you're wondering whether or not he's used a toilet during those 45 years of wilderness pooing, Izawa added: "I've 'toilet-pooped' 14 times this century. Certain situations call for toilets."
Featured Image Credit: Masana Izawa