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upworthy
Heroes

The way these 'Samurai litter pickers' clean the streets is kinda the coolest thing ever

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.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.


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