trash, samurai, litter

The Gomi Hiroi Samurai.

Welcome to Tokyo, where street cleaning meets street art, thanks to the litter-collecting Gomi Hiroi Samurai.

If you happen to be roaming the streets in Japan, you might find this group sporting ceremonial kimonos and dishing out some amazing moves as they gracefully pick up cans, cigarettes and any other piece of trash along their path, collecting it all in stylish wicker baskets.

The ancient Samurai were once known for their deadly yet beautiful fighting skills, used for justified defense. That same principle applies … this time with a modern-day, conservationalist twist.


Wielding tongs instead of swords (most of the time, anyway) and shouting “moral no nai kokoro wo seibai!” (“punish hearts with no morals!”), the Gomi Hiroi Samurai know only one enemy: rubbish.

@gomihiroisamurai テーブルクロス引きかッ✋💥#ゴミ拾い侍 #ゴミ拾い #pickuptrash #ポイ捨て ♬ なにをやってもあかんわ (WM night out mix) - 岡崎体育

The epic way of shooting makes these TikTok videos feel more like something out of a Kurosawa film. Everything from the dramatic profile angles delivered by professionally trained actors, to the percussive battle drum music, to the ULTRA ultra closeups, it’s pure grade entertainment.

@gomihiroisamurai もしかして、スパイダー〇〇❓#ゴミ拾い侍 #ゴミ拾い #pickuptrash #スパイダーマン #spiderman ♬ オリジナル楽曲 - 【公式】ゴミ拾い侍(一世一代時代組)

Someone was clearly channeling their inner Scorpion from Mortal Kombat here. And it was indeed a flawless victory.

@gomihiroisamurai なんでこんなに酷いのぉ。#ゴミ拾い侍 #ゴミ拾い #pickuptrash #ポイ捨て ♬ なにをやってもあかんわ (WM night out mix) - 岡崎体育

As one person commented, “to quote a famous philosopher (Little Richard), ‘it ain’t what you do. It’s the way how you do it.’”

Though their stylish out-of-this-world performances certainly do raise environmental awareness, for these ecosamurai, the main intention is simply to uplift people’s spirits.

Group promoter Rikiya Takahashi said in an interview that “we hope to make people smile, and believe this will cleanse both their minds and their cities.”
@gomihiroisamurai 2年前の動画。#ゴミ拾い侍 #ゴミ拾い #pickuptrash #ポイ捨て #鬼滅の刃 #kimetsunoyaiba ♬ オリジナル楽曲 - 【公式】ゴミ拾い侍(一世一代時代組)

However, Takahashi added, “we hope to create an environment where having morals can be thought of as cool. We perform only with the hope that people will think the act of picking up trash is cool. At the root of that is a quintessential Japanese stylishness.”

The Samurai moral code, otherwise known as bushido, upholds the virtues of righteousness, courage, benevolence, respect, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control. It might have not been the group’s original mission, but it seems like these environmental warriors give bushido new life.

@gomihiroisamurai 子連れゴミ拾い侍。LAメンバーのカズ@kazkobayashi1 #ゴミ拾い侍 #ゴミ拾い #pickuptrash #ポイ捨て #子連れゴミ拾い侍 #LA ♬ We Will Rock You - Remastered 2011 - Queen


Thanks to their huge following on social media, what started out as a small group has rapidly expanded. You’ll now see the litter-collecting samurai all around the country. It goes to show that when you get creative, doing what’s right can actually be really fun.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

Keep Reading Show less

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less