Sasebo Kamen Rider Strives to Protects Smiles After Heartache
There have been sightings of a Kamen Rider in Sasebo City in Nagasaki Prefecture. He recently met with a reporter on the condition that his true identity wasn’t revealed. This Rider drives through the city on a motorcycle resembling a bike from the tv series.
According to the reporter, the Sasebo Kamen Rider is an attractive man in his 50s and is near 180cm (approximately 5’9″) tall. Outside of being a Kamen Rider, he is also a company owner. At his home, he has several Kamen Rider costumes at home. The suits, gloves, and boots that wrap his body are all handmade. His mask was even manufactured from a real motorcycle helmet so he could legally wear it on the street.
Sasebo Kamen Rider volunteers his time all to protect the smiles of children. But, Sasebo’s Kamen Rider transformation was born from a difficult event. In 2004, an 11-year-old schoolgirl stabbed her 12-year-old classmate to death in a study room in an incident named the “Sasebo Slashing.” The incident shook the city of Sasebo, but especially Sasebo Kamen Rider who had some related acquaintances with those involved.
The recent child abuse incidents that led to the deaths of children in Chiba Prefecture also made an impact on the Sasebo Kamen Rider. The incident prompted the Orange Ribbon Movement, where performers wore ribbons on their arms. The film distribution company responsible for Kamen Rider has also allowed this, but on the condition that performers make it clear it was their personal decision.
Sasebo Kamen Rider performed at a special show in the suburbs. Children were not only interested in the show, but also adults. At one event, a senior woman in a wheelchair took Sasebo Kamen Rider’s hand, “I laughed wearing an oxygen mask.”
The Kamen Rider series has continued to excite children for nearly 50 years after it debuted on tv. Sasebo Kamen Rider recalled seeing a Kamen Rider show as a child at his local zoo. They took a photo together, which he still owns. The Kamen Rider didn’t say anything to him, but just being next to the hero gave him courage.
Now, Sasebo Kamen Rider believes it’s his turn, as a friend of justice, to run through the city. All for the children.
Article Sources The Nishinippon Shimbun