Illustration for article titled Its Like iDeath Stranding/i, But For Real
Screenshot: Asahi News
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In Japan, or anywhere with remote mountainous regions, there are porters who carry supplies and food to areas beyond vehicles’ reach. The Japanese word for this is bokka (歩荷) or literally “step cargo.”

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This Asahi News report from September 2018 shows a 25-year-old porter named Masato Hagiwara. He weighs 139 pounds but carries fresh food and canned drinks through the high-altitude Ozegahara marshland national park.

His stacks reach over six-and-a-half feet, weighing 220 pounds.

According to Asahi News, it’s important that porters like Hagiwara do not overdo it. Carrying the load requires intense concentration and physical strength, but it’s necessary to take many breaks, especially before one’s shoulders start to go numb.

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In that regard, these real-life porters are different from Sam Bridges, who seems to only have to contend with balancing loads and not numb shoulders. But porters like Hagiwara don’t have to deal with terrifying ghosts or take care of pod-babies. Thank goodness for that!

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Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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