If you dare to litter in Tokyo, you’d better watch out, because there’s a team of fearsome samurai warriors ready to admonish you.

For the past few years, a group of young men and women have been keeping watch over the streets of this fair city, turning heads with their unique style and a flair for picking up litter.

Known as Gomihiroi Samurai (“Samurai Who Pick Up Litter”), these environmentally conscious individuals dress in traditional samurai garb and pull out some slick moves whenever they spot an errant piece of sidewalk trash.

Every time they make a grand appearance on the streets, onlookers stop to film the warriors, and videos posted online spread like wildfire, with people around the country curious to find out more about the samurai trash collectors. Just last week, they were spotted again, this time inspiring onlookers in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district with their dramatic fight against litter.

▼ Take a look at their performance below.

According to their official site, this band of wandering ronin, officially known as Jidaigumi Basara, are from the Tokyo branch of the Hokkaido-based samurai performance troupe Issei Ichidai Jidaigumi. With their performances based on theatrical combat, these members volunteer their time to bring attention to the environment on the busy city streets, particularly around central hubs like Shibuya, where this next video was filmed.

Whether they’re wowing people with their presence or making passersby giggle like fangirls, the trash-collecting samurai are said to favour a few choice phrases to help them win the war on litter. Some of their preferred outbursts include: “Nani yatsu?!“, whch translates to “What is this?!” and “Moral no nai kokoro wo seibai!!”, which means “Punish hearts with no morals!!“.


Despite their strong stance, they go by the motto of “Don’t hate the perpetrator, but their vice“, which is good news for any of us who happen to find ourselves standing next to a wayward piece of litter in their presence.

If you’d like to see the troupe in action, be sure to check out the updates on their Twitter account, where they give advance notice of the places they’re setting off to, complete with the times they’ll be there.

▼ According to this tweet, they’ll be in Ikebukuro from 4pm on 12 June, and people should feel free to give them a shout if they see them.

The group’s unique trash-collecting activities is a great way for the performers to hone their skills in front of a crowd while keeping the streets of the city clean at the same time. Let’s hope they bring more samurai to fight the war on litter at big events like Halloween, and if they’re lucky, the loincloth-wearing trash collectors might join them for the next event too!

Source: Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/jidaigumi_tokyo