The Observers

Japan’s litter-collecting Samurai help keep Tokyo's streets sparkling clean

The ‘Litter Collecting Samurai’ pick up rubbish in Tokyo’s streets while performing as Samurai.
The ‘Litter Collecting Samurai’ pick up rubbish in Tokyo’s streets while performing as Samurai. © Observers

Japan's new social media sensation is a street performance group called "Gomi Hiroi Samurai" (Litter Collecting Samurai), a group of environmentally conscious individuals who pick up rubbish in Tokyo’s streets while performing as Samurai. From back alleys to crowded streets, they leave no stone uncleaned.

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The group have gained popularity on TikTok, where they have amassed more than 300k followers, as well as on InstagramFacebook and YouTube.

"When Tokyo was chosen as the site of the Olympic games, I thought that if people from all over the world came to Japan for the occasion, we'd better welcome them to a clean country," said Naka Keisuke, one of the street performers.

Gomi Hiroi Samurai has noticed an increase in the amount of litter since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, including masks and other single-use items. But the group maintains that they don't blame litterers: they say, "Blame the sin, not the sinner."