May 30, or 530. 5 3 can be read "gomi" in Japanese which means garbage. So what does May 30 mean in our village? Garbage 0 day. This morning, I participated with most of the village in picking up trash and junk around the village. Along one of the roads, there was an area that was clearly being used as an illegal garbage dump by many people. There were mufflers, car batteries, toilets, beds, bicycles and even a car dumped there. We spent the morning hoisting this junk out of the mud and carrying it in trucks to a location where the local government would come and collect it for us.
There were many children helping out as well. Hopefully this annual garage day will help educate them not to dump trash by the road.
I got a chance to meet more of my neighbors so it was nice. I still have a hard time remembering everyone's name but sharing this massive chore with the whole village was quite a bonding experience. These village chores are called gyoji and there are many others including trimming hedges and trees, cleaning common spaces and fixing roads.