Chibatman dons a cape and mask and rides the streets of Chiba City, fighting gloom, not crime. Tara Cleary reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Japan seems to be teeming with superheroes - this time in Chiba City.
When he's not at his day job as a welder, Chibatman can be seen riding through the city's streets, not fighting crime, but trying to brighten people's days.
The 41-year-old says he's been donning this costume for three years.
SOUNDBITE: 41-year-old welder, also known as 'Chibatman', saying (Japanese):
"As for my reasons? During the great earthquake people forgot how to smile. I wanted to help bring them back, and that's why I started."
And his unusual therapy seems to be working.
SOUNDBITE: Yusuke Shindo, local resident, saying (Japanese):
"This is the first time I've met him but I'm quite impressed. The Batmobile is really cool and so that's also really impressive."
SOUNDBITE: Hideki Kobayashi, local resident, saying (Japanese):
"He is a bit unusual isn't he? He's definitely very topical right now and so I think it's great."
It cost Chibatman around five-and-a-half thousand U.S. dollars to buy and modify his 3-wheel Batmobile -- and once locals meet him, almost no-one can resist his charm.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code