In a unique and dramatic display of civic responsibility, samurai-clad garbage collectors roamed the streets of Tokyo after Halloween festivities, wielding garbage chute and stylishly placing garbage into wicker baskets on their backs.
This enthusiastic group, known as “Gomihiroi Samurai” or “trash-picking samurai”, has attracted the attention of many people, gaining nearly 800,000 followers on TikTok since their formation in 2006.
Their performance is not just for entertainment, as explained by Keisuke Naka, a member of the group who has been a garbage collector samurai for seven years.
He stressed that if people are attracted to his actions, they should also pay attention to the broader issue of littering. Despite Japan’s reputation for cleanliness, Naka said this image doesn’t tell the whole story.
In areas known for vibrant nightlife and bustling tourism, such as during Halloween celebrations, street drinking and festivities lead to trash accumulation.
The “Trash-Taking Samurai” has made a notable impact on the local community. Residents confirm the positive changes they have witnessed, with stories of streets that previously had excessive litter and even the presence of rats, which are now clean due to their efforts.
Naruhito Miyasaka, a college student who lives in the area where Naka collected garbage, highlighted the remarkable improvement, noting that the garbage situation was previously quite dire.
Junya Kakihara, a local restaurant owner, credited the samurai demonstrations for raising awareness of the garbage issue and said he actively encourages people not to litter when they are tempted to do so.
This creative approach to dealing with litter is not only entertaining but also serves as a valuable reminder to cherish and maintain a clean and pleasant environment for everyone.