You’ve probably heard that RocketNews24 got a special exclusive interview with Chibatman recently. It’s kind of a big deal, but you know, he’s not the only superhero roaming the streets of Japan. Cut to Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture where you can frequently spot iconic Japanese superhero Kamen Rider cruising the streets and laying down the law.

For those unfamiliar with Kamen Rider, this is about to sound a little nuts, but bear with us. Kamen Rider has been an extremely popular superhero in Japan for a solid 45 years now. The premise of the sci-fi, action-packed TV show is about a guy who was mutated into a grasshopper-esqe cyborg by an evil organization and his struggles to defeat them. He also rides a sweet motorcycle/dirt bike called Cyclone (although the bike changes over the years to some extent).

▼ The real Kamen Rider 1 from the 1970s TV show.


So, Kamen Rider is kind of a big deal in Japan – as in, kids still go nuts over him the same way their parents did when they were kids. Apparently, the love for Kamen Rider never dies, because one full-grown adult has been seen frequently cruising the streets of Kitakyushu watching for drunk-drivers, while dressed in full Kamen Rider 1 gear and riding a Cyclone. 

▼ The people on that bus in the background were probably going nuts.

Apparently, Kitakyushu has a famous Buddhist temple in the Hachiman area called Gokurakuji, where Head Priest Fukumitsu is known for being a hardcore Kamen Rider fan. He’s been collecting Kamen goods for over 20 years and has recently taken it a step further… but, he’s not the one riding the 50cc Cyclone. He is however, the sponsor for and good friend of the Kamen Rider of Kitakyushu.

▼ You can’t really tell the difference between the new and the original Kamen Rider 1, save for the new armband, which officially designates him a watchman for drunk-drivers by the local authorities.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 18

The rider himself is actually an environmental artist named Shinjiro Kumagai, who turns aluminum cans into statues or other artful pieces. On the side, he works with Fukumitsu and rides around as Kamen Rider, stopping people from driving under the influence of alcohol and endlessly entertaining locals. Not a bad life!

▼ When he’s in his humanoid form, he makes things like these from recycled cans.

f0101679_20472063Naver Matome –  Justastarter

▼ When he’s in his cyborg superhero grasshopper form, he demolishes Japanese treats.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 23Seiryu no Sato

▼ “Whoa, he’s the real deal!”

▼ All work and no play makes Kamen Rider a dull grasshopper.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 23Twitter @vtwin_somen 

As with Chibatman, locals love the Kitakyushu Kamen Rider. Who wouldn’t want to see this bug-faced badass rolling up next to you at a stop light?!

▼ We’re not gonna lie, we’re pretty jealous of this.

The Kitakyushu Kamen Rider has been known to break out of the city limits and even go as far as Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku. So, if you’re not on Kyushu, don’t worry, you may still have a chance of seeing him if you’re somewhere else in Japan. If you’re not in Japan, stay tuned on Twitter, because Kamen Rider spotters seem to be all about sharing their first hand encounters.

Source: Twitter via Naver Matome
Featured image:TwitPic (@tkyutaka)