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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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