10 Bizarre Japanese Inventions

Posted on March 18, 2010
Views: 222,341

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisements

The Japanese are known the world over for their ingenuity, their inventiveness and their love of the absurd. Chindogu is a concept that combines all of these things and it has hit the country, and recently the world, by storm. Created by amateur inventor Kenji Kawakami in the 1980s, Chindogu is the art of the absurd invention. It merges the Japanese love of the bizarre and the absurd with the genius and talent of the aspiring armchair inventor. Chindogu is perhaps best understood as a kind of contemporary sport, akin to Googlewhacking and peir-jumping. Being ultimately pointless there is no winner in this game, although there are some rules as set out by Kawakami.

The rules of chindogu are simple. A chindogu must be both useless and useful at the same time, chindogu must have a real purpose (other than making people laugh) but also be completely unusable. A real prototype of the invention must be made for it to be called chindogu. Unfortunately, the rules also state that chindogu are not to be sold, once used for commercial gain the artefact would no longer be chindogu but a commercially viable product. Chindogu are also not to be patented, but are instead to be considered a gift to the world. Fortunately many chindogu have been sold, albeit as novelty items, but they are rarely patented.

Since the birth of the craze in the 1980s the concept has become not only a national pastime but also part of the Japanese national identity. When we think of Japan we think of robots, sushi and the myriad of bizarre Japanese inventions. Here are some of the best.

1.

The 10-in-1 Gardening Tool

The 10-in-1 Gardening Tool is the very essence of chindogu itself. Whilst clearly a good idea, and useful in a strange kind of way, it is entirely impractical, unusable and quite bonkers.

gardening tool

2.

Personal Rain Saver

If you are worried that the world as we know it could come crashing down on our heads at any time, you might want to get your hands on one of these handy rain saving devices. Essentially an upside-down umberella, it collects water in an easy to carry tank. With the price of bottled water going through the roof and utility bills on the rise this could prove to be very useful, if you could bare the embarrassment that is.

personal rain saver

3.

Subway-Sleepers

The idea of a device that will allow you to sleep on the subway has become somewhat of a national obsession for the Japanese, with various inventors working on different ways to perfect the idea. The biggest problem facing anyone who falls asleep on the subway is, of course, missing his or her stop. For this reason, most subway sleepers are now designed with a message board attached, so that other passengers will know when to wake you. However, you have to ask yourself if relying on the kindness of strangers is really such a good idea.

subway sleepers

4.

Butter-Stick

Butter in a stick. Brilliant! Unlike most chindogu creations this one has a very clear and practical purpose. It will not only help to keep your butter fresh but will also make it easier to serve, eliminating the need for butter knives.

butter stick

5.

Duster Slippers

Robotic vacuum cleaners are all the rage at the moment. But who wants to spend all that money on a robot shaped like a cat bowl when you could have your cat or your baby do the cleaning for you instead. Attaching dusters to you cat’s feet seems like a good idea, but you have to ask yourself how much dusting a cat would really get done in a day. Surely it would just dust the same chair over and over again.

duster slippers

Advertisements
Random
Page 1 of 4
Loading...

Latest Articles

Makeup Artist Transforms Her Face Into Her Favorite Cartoon Characters

Makeup Artist Transforms Her Face Into Her Favorite Cartoon Characters

Laura Jenkins is a London based brilliant makeup artist who brings various cartoon characters to life on her own face, or to be more precise on her mouth. This is what happens when...

5 Most Unique and Unusual Islands - #3 Is it Cute or Creepy?

5 Most Unique and Unusual Islands - #3 Is it Cute or Creepy?

For most of us islands hold a certain mystique. It could be their seclusion that entices us, or the perceived difficulty of reaching them. Others are relatively untouched and...

5 Ad Campaigns That Backfired - #5 With True Message

5 Ad Campaigns That Backfired - #5 With True Message

It's fair to say that in the digital age we're beaten over the head with advertising on a regular basis. With constant exposure to commercials, banner ads, and other spots trying...

7 Utterly Bizarre Assassination Attempts

7 Utterly Bizarre Assassination Attempts

Assassinations are a dirty part of global politics and warfare, and as you can probably guess there are tons of attempts on the lives of political leaders that you never even hear...

15 of the Scariest Urban Legends From Around the World

15 of the Scariest Urban Legends From Around the World

Everyone loves a good old fashioned urban legend. People love getting a good scare, and something about urban legends just makes it feel like these things could have actually...

15 Myths About History You Probably Believe

15 Myths About History You Probably Believe

It turns out that a lot of what you were reading in history textbooks was wrong, and some of the things you believe are either skewed by false information passed down through the...

8 Prettiest Nations in Europe

8 Prettiest Nations in Europe

It might be hard to tell the difference between women in Europe, but every man with a keen eye will tell you exactly why these nations have the prettiest women.

13 Things You Didn’t Know About the Lord of the Rings Movies

13 Things You Didn’t Know About the Lord of the Rings Movies

The Lord of the Rings will go down as one of the greatest movie trilogies in history, and this year Peter Jackson’s follow-up trilogy The Hobbit will be coming to a close as...

13 Crazy World Records You Won’t Believe People Bothered to Set

13 Crazy World Records You Won’t Believe People Bothered to Set

These are the people who work on breaking and re-breaking world records that no one in their right mind would ever even consider as a legitimate thing. You know, the records that...

13 Famous Fictional Characters You Didn’t Know Were Based on Real People

13 Famous Fictional Characters You Didn’t Know Were Based on Real...

Through all mediums of entertainment - music, movies, books, and so forth - we get attached to the truly great, fleshed out characters who just jump off the page or screen and...