Posted by: viaprograms | December 10, 2010

Bamboo Samurai Completes His Journey

The Bamboo Samurai on the last leg, crossing the George Washington Bridge in NY

In September, we shared the story of a recent VIA alum, Takashi Matsumoto, aka the Bamboo Samurai, who set out to ride from Santa Cruz, CA to Brooklyn, NY to promote sustainability and raise awareness about bamboo forest overgrowth in Japan. As of December 6, Takashi has completed his 12-week, 4368.9-mile journey!

News Coverage of Takashi's Trip

As he pedaled, he drew attention to his cause from curious individuals and media. The bamboo samurai was interviewed by several U.S. and Japanese news agencies and appeared on local television news.  Watch the clip here. Early next year he will appear on Japanese television and on the cover of a U.S. magazine.

On December 7, Takashi returned to Japan.  A celebration event planned for Jan 16, 2011 in Tokyo, will raise awareness and donations for Glide Memorial Church, a San Francisco nonprofit visited on the Exploring Social Innovation Program. This initially gave Takashi inspiration to start his journey.  Takashi is inviting others to support him in donating several bamboo plants and bamboo dining ware to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco to be used in the new creative space and demonstration kitchen.

Takashi and VIA would like to thank everyone who supported him on his journey—especially the VIA community members who housed and fed the Bamboo Samurai on his journey. Domo arigatou gozaimasu!

What’s up next for the Bamboo Samurai?  He is now planning to design and build a bike from Japanese bamboo, which he will ride across China.  Follow the next steps of his journey on his blog at

Bamboo Samurai Crossing the Ohio River


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