These Guys Have Turned Litter Picking Into A Fascinating Art Form

by : Hannah Smith on : 28 Jun 2021 12:09
These Guys Have Turned Litter Picking Into A Fascinating Art FormUNILAD/Facebook

Picking up litter is hardly the most exciting task in the world, but in an attempt to make keeping their local streets clean more exciting, a group of Japanese actors have set about the chore in a very unique way.

The group of performers in Tokyo have transformed themselves into litter-picking warriors, cleaning up the streets dressed head to toe in traditional Samurai robes.



Known as the Garbage Picking Samurai, the performance group sadly don’t use actual Samurai swords, although the metal pickers they do use could still be pretty deadly in the hands of a true Samurai.

In keeping with the theme, in place of standard black garbage bags, they each carry a wicker basket on their back to deposit the trash into – performing all sorts of tricks and routines while doing so.

Apparently, the Garbage Picking Samurai have made a pledge to clean up the streets of Japan and use their unorthodox appearance to draw the attention of passers-by to the problem of littering, while also making keeping the community clean a ‘cool’ activity.

The Garbage Picking Samurai have gone viral in Japan (UNILAD/Facebook)UNILAD/Facebook

It seems to be working, too, with the group reportedly gaining members and supporters not only in Tokyo, but all through Japan.

Most Tokyo residents going about their daily lives don’t pay too much attention to the Garbage Picking Samurai, but the performance troupe have been posting videos of their litter-picking exploits on TikTok, where they’ve racked up more than 100,000 followers.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Life, Japan, Now, TikTok, Tokyo


  1. UNILAD/Facebook

    Meet The Samurai Litter Pickers Of Japan