Details are sparse on why 82 year old Masafumi Nagasaki (aka The Naked Hermit of Japan) left his island hermitage but The Guardian reports he spotted looking in ill-health suffering from what was probably the flu and was too weak to fight off authorities before being taken to the city of Ishigaki to convalesce.
After he recovered the Japanese government declared he was not allowed to return to tiny Sotobanari Island (1km in diameter) although he wishes to die there:
“It hadn’t really occurred to me before how important it is to choose the place of your death, like whether it’s in a hospital or at home with family by your side. But to die here, surrounded by nature — you just can’t beat it, can you?” FromYoutube Documentary The Japanese Robinson
Masafumi wasn’t entirely self sufficient on the island, he put on clothes once a week and traveled to a neighboring island to buy rice cakes and water but his bathing and shaving water came from rain water collected in pots.
As for the nudity, Masafumi explains that his clothes blew away in a typhoon one year into his 29 year hermitage and he felt more natural without them. Personally I hope he is allowed to return and live out his days on the island but that will be up to Japanese authorities. We will update if the situation changes.
Masafumi was featured in a 2014 Vice mini-doc titled “Japan’s Naked Island Hermit” which you can watch below: