Monks in Japan are filming themselves juggling, jumping rope, doing backflips, wielding Star Wars lightsabers and playing the drums – all in their traditional robes. But they aren’t doing this just to show off their skills. They’re proving that it’s possible to do all these things while wearing their traditional garments after a monk was fined for driving while wearing his robes.
A monk was stopped by police last September while he was driving to a Buddhist memorial service, according to a report published in late December in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. The officer reportedly told him that the “sleeves and length” of his robes could impede his driving and fined him 6,000 yen (about 48 euros). But the unnamed monk has refused to pay the ticket, saying such regulations would stop him from carrying out memorial services. He told the police he had been driving in robes for years and had never been fined before.
There is no specific law in Japan that specifically bans driving in monks’ robes, but road traffic law prohibits driving in clothes that may affect safe driving.
Monks rallied to their colleague’s defence under the hashtag "I can do this in monk’s robes". As the videos below show, they are able to pull off an impressive range physical activities while wearing traditional robes… to the delight of many viewers on social media.