The Japanese are renowned for their position at the forefront of modern technology and invention along with their love of the absurd. In the 1980s amateur inventor Kenji Kawakami came up with the concept of Chindogu, a contemporary sport akin to Googlewhacking which champions only the most useless of all supposedly useful Japanese inventions all surrounded with a healthy dose of humour.
The rules of Chindogu are as follows:
The item must be both useless and useful at the same time. I.e. it must have a real purpose but be unusable, see below.
A real prototype of the item must be made.
The product cannot be sold or patented, just considered a gift to the world.
So for all of you needing a little light relief from serious design, check out these Chindogus!
When blowing is not enough - a cooling fan for your noodles.
Is it a tie? Is it a umbrella? It's both.
The only 100% waterproof umbrella. Looks as if you would probably get pretty soaked trying to get out of it however.
A sleeping stand, ideal for napping on the subway.
Solar powered cigarette lighter - do not use in forested areas.
More napping on the tube devices. This one even has a sign which says which stop you want waking up at.
A way of avoiding shakey-hand syndrome when putting your eye drops in, doesn't stop you blinking however.
A personal rain catcher - always handy.
This is just getting silly now...
A giant penknife for your garden!
Boyfriend pillow - mega LOLs.
Actually pretty useful and clever.
I can't imagine any cat I know happily volunteering to be a mop.
Hope this raised a smile or two...