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Japanese Real-Life Superhero Cracks Down on Drunk Driving

Meet Priest Shinjiro Kumagai – mild mannered environmental artist by day, and real-life superhero by night. Dressed up as Japanese sci-fi TV hero Kamen Rider 1, his mission is to rid Kitakyushu city of drunk drivers.

Kumagai’s day job involves making statues out of old aluminium cans. When he’s done, he dons the grasshopper-inspired superhero suit, hops on to a Cyclone motorbike and hunts down drunk drivers. His nightly patrols are supported by the police, as shown by the armband identifying him as an official drunk-drive patrolman.

Even with the support of the police, being a superhero in real life can be an expensive affair. But Kumagai doesn’t have to worry about money – he is funded by local Buddhist Priest Fukumitsu, the head of the Gokurakuji temple. “He is a real fan of Kamen Rider 1 and has been collecting memorabilia for 20 years,” Kumagai said of his benefactor. “So when he heard about what I was doing, he jumped at the chance to help.”

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