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Oddly Enough

Chibatman - Japan's answer to the Dark Knight

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - 01:08

Chibatman dons a cape and mask and rides the streets of Chiba City, fighting gloom, not crime. Tara Cleary reports.

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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.

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Chibatman - Japan's answer to the Dark Knight

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - 01:08