10 Bizarre Japanese Inventions

Posted on March 18, 2010
Views: 201,913

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

17 Rarely Seen Pictures of Celebrities - History in Pictures

17 Rarely Seen Pictures of Celebrities - History in Pictures

It’s really difficult not to fall into a trap of using cliché phrases like ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and similar while watching these old photographs below. Just...

16 Bizarre Film Choices by Well Respected Actors

16 Bizarre Film Choices by Well Respected Actors

Everyone makes mistakes both in their everyday lives and in their careers. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that sometimes the people making those mistakes are professional...

16 Small but Terrifying Creatures

16 Small but Terrifying Creatures

Here are some small, yet horrifying little monsters prowling around out in Mother Nature’s backyard. Mother Nature is a deadly, terrifying force that we should all be deathly...

17 of the Most Horrifying Torture Devices Ever Conceived

17 of the Most Horrifying Torture Devices Ever Conceived

Torture isn’t particularly fun to think about, so we can only imagine how horrific it must be to actually have it done to you. Fortunately we as a society have pretty much done...

18 Bizarre Phobias People Actually Have

18 Bizarre Phobias People Actually Have

It’s natural to be scared of things. After all, it’d be a little ludicrous to never get frightened, whether your fears revolve around sharks, snakes, spiders, death, or, most...

18 of the Most Absurdly Expensive Toys in the World

18 of the Most Absurdly Expensive Toys in the World

Everyone loves toys. It’s okay, you can admit it, whenever you find yourself in a department store you at least wander past the toy section and sneak a look at the latest action...

20 Awesome Facts About Star Wars

20 Awesome Facts About Star Wars

People are getting excited about the new Star Wars movie that’s due to come out next year, and rightfully so. Even with the missteps that were the prequels, it remains one of the...

20 Infamous Sex Scandals of Modern History

20 Infamous Sex Scandals of Modern History

Everyone loves a good old fashioned scandal. Add in a little bit of sex just to spice things up, and it’s ratings heaven for journalists, and can also help boost the public...

20 of the Creepiest Places on Earth

20 of the Creepiest Places on Earth

Places can be creepy for a lot of reasons, whether it’s a terrifying history, ominous architecture, or the eerie sense of unease that comes from simply having been abandoned. Yet...

20 Weird Things You Can Major in at College

20 Weird Things You Can Major in at College

College is an interesting time in a person’s life. It’s where a lot of people really discover themselves, and prepare for the future while trying to pin down exactly what they...