Remember when everyone’s minds were blown by images of Japanese fans tidying up their section after the World Cup? Well what might seem amazing to some is totally atarimae (obvious and expected) to the typical Japanese mindset. As your mother may have told you as a kid; you make the mess, you tidy it up! And the day after the massive Halloween party at the famous Shibuya crossing last weekend, volunteers were out in droves this year again with plastic bags and gloves to make the streets all sparkly again.

But just how many of them actually even contributed to the mess to begin with? According to reports on Twitter, not too many—and boy, are they angry…

While last year, there were some grumps who vocally expressed their distaste at the concept of people taking matters into their own hands by cleaning up after themselves and others, we’re happy to see the tradition is ongoing this year. You can call it hypocritical all you want, but someone’s got to clean up all the mess left by drunken Halloween revellers.

Having said that, many of those volunteering to clean up apparently didn’t even attend the festivities, and a lot of them seem really furious at the amount of mess left behind by those who did. Perhaps the cleanup operation is an attempt to school selfish litterbugs in some good old-fashioned manners?

Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the biggest street party of the year, and some eyewitness opinions:

“If you’re gonna make a mess, stop celebrating Halloween!”

“So you have fun and then just leave? Don’t leave it to others who had nothing to do with making the mess. It’s just common sense to take your own rubbish home. People who don’t understand that don’t deserve to enjoy Halloween. It only takes one piece of litter to create a mountain. Even children know that rubbish belongs in the bin :'(“

“What’s Halloween, again? A day to make a huge mess?”

“The morning after, and CHILDREN are out cleaning the streets. Makes you think, doesn’t it?”

“Children are up early in Shibuya cleaning up mess ADULTS have made. Why? This is so sad…”

“Halloween in Japan is when kids clean up the mess made by adults who should know better…”

“Volunteers gathering at Shibuya the morning after Halloween. Thanks to their efforts, the streets are clean again. Though none of us can hide our shock at those who chuck litter everywhere. It’s like they don’t even care about the consequences of their actions…”

“Volunteers making huge mounds of garbage bags in front of Shibuya station. We should just cancel Halloween if people are going to chuck litter and leave it.”

Still,  see some people seem to be really enjoying the cleanup operation…

“Shibuya, the morning after Halloween. They’re cleaning the streets while playing Mario music from their truck.”

▼ Even their garbage bags are Halloween-themed!

While its undoubtedly gross and awful to make such a huge mess of the streets, there’s also a part of us that wonders if it isn’t just human nature at play here. Japan as a general rule doesn’t have a lot of trash cans laid out for the public to use, with the general idea being that people take their trash home with them. If you’re out and about in a skimpy Halloween costume, though, it’s going to be even harder to find somewhere to conceal your own personal rubbish about your person, especially if you’re too drunk and merry to care. Of course, we’re not condoning littering here and never would, but we’re guessing this was probably a motivating factor behind a lot of drunken party people desecrating the streets in this way.

▼ Having said that, it seems that there were also people out in the midst of the party holding up placards and supplying bins for people to throw their rubbish into.

Even though some seemed to take it for granted that the cleaning fairies would be visiting in the morning…

“Halloween is over, and it seems the streets are a big mess now. Wishing for nice people to clean up in the morning like last year and the year before that!”

Volunteers might be angry, but we reckon Hanlon’s razor is a good one to keep in mind here: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Source: NetLab, Grapee
Main Image: Twitter/@kanda19901018, @takuya67584, @karuberuka