Call him a hero, call him a saviour or call him a one-man army. No word of reference could do justice to the man who gifted life to billions of people. Masao Yoshida, born on February 17, 1955, was a nuclear station manager at the infamous Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A regular Japanese working-class man became a hero overnight after the March 11, 2011 disaster for the people of Japan. The rest of the world now recognizes him as the saviour of Japan due to the recent Netflix sci-fi drama, The Days. Directed by Masaki Nishiura and Hideo Nakata, The Days demonstrates the 80 hours of terror and struggle endured by Yoshida.
When Japan was struck by a calamity of Chornobyl proportions, the entire population of this country slowly lost hope. There wasn’t much anything that could do with the nuclear reactors being exposed to an insurmountable amount of temperature. But Masao Yoshida did, he went beyond the realms of his power to stop Japan from being massacred.
Want to know more about Japan’s saviour, Masao Yoshida? Here is your chance!
Who Is Masao Yoshida?
Yoshida is the man who disobeyed the direct orders of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in order to save Japan from undergoing a nuclear explosion that could have been ten times worse than the Chornobyl disaster. He was born on February 17, 1955, and joined the nuclear plant of Fukushima Daiichi at a young age.
Yoshida was born and raised in Japan and lived in there all his life. He garnered attention due to being the station manager at the time of the disaster. His resilience served him–and the nation–in an optimistic manner. Sadly, Masao didn’t live long enough after that accident.
Masao Yoshida Was Diagnosed With Cancer
After Japan’s one-third land was made unavailable to the population, the chances of radioactive radiation were increasing. Though the World Health Organization now claims that there isn’t much risk of cancer for the people of Japan, it wasn’t the same back then. In 2011, a few days after the nuclear meltdown, Japan conducted wide research to check whether anyone was affected by those radiations anyhow. Their search landed them flat since nobody was truly affected by the radiation. Only one man was.
The man who helped save billions of people couldn’t save himself and fell victim to cancer. A year after the Fukushima Daiichi incident, Yoshida was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. He went through numerous medications but nothing worked in his favour.
Masao was receiving treatment for cancer when he was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage. His condition kept worsening, and the treatment he was receiving didn’t work in his favour. Yoshida had to step down from his position in December 2011. He did realize that life was slipping through his fingers slowly and wanted to make the most of his remaining time.
Did Masao Yoshida Die Due To Radiations?
After being diagnosed with cancer and then a brain haemorrhage, Yoshida made it his mission in life to narrate his story of survival. He knew he had valuable knowledge to offer to the world, to the officers who could possibly be one stay stand at his position and to the people who didn’t realize the worth of their lives. The journalist, Ryosho Kadota interviewed him and several other people associated with the Fukushima Daiichi massacre. He then curated his observations into a book and named it “On The Brink: The Inside Story Of Fukushima Daiichi”.
A few years later, Yoshida’s cancer metastasised and began to spread to different internal organs. People started to blame his condition on the radioactive waves he came across but those rumours are baseless. The head of the TEPCO insisted that radiations start affecting people at least after 5 years. Yoshida was diagnosed a year later and as Koji Yakusho–the actor who impersonates Yoshida in Netflix’s series, The Days–claims, it was the after-effect of enduring the situation he endured that took on a toll on his health. Eventually, he died due to a stroke on July 9, 2013.
Bidding Farewell To Masao Yoshida Isn’t Easy
A few years later, Yoshida bid goodbye to the country he risked his life for. While it was certainly not an easy fit for him, the people who watched his journey closely had an even harder time letting go of their mentor. Somewhere along the way in rescuing Japan, Yoshida became a hero and inspiration to many.
Many such people who idolized him have had a hard time bidding him goodbye. Now, a decade later, Masao Yoshida still resides in the hearts of millions of people and in the mind of the co-workers who witnessed him in action. Many of those co-workers have blatantly come out and claimed that Yoshida is the saviour of Japan and they would have never been able to go through with the mission if it weren’t for Yoshida.
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