Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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Plenty of people like to dress up as Batman, even on days that aren’t Halloween. I just returned from New York City where some people make their living dressing as the “Dark Knight” and posing for photos with tourists in Times Square. But one man in Japan puts on the iconic black mask and cape without any thought to how it might be of benefit to himself.

It’s hard to forget the images from the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The memories are even more haunting for those who lived through it. That’s why an anonymous middle-aged welder from the city of Chiba decided to reinvent himself as Chibatman. He rides through the streets on a custom-built “Chibatpod” motorcycle, turning heads and making people smile at every corner. Those smiles are what it’s all about for Chibatman: