Chindōgu 珍道具 – The Japanese art of useless (Not always) inventions

Chindōgu 珍道具 (珍: rare, 道具: tool) is a Japanese art of inventing original devices that might help you with a very concrete purpose. The problem is that most of the times their purpose is so narrow that they are almost useless. One of the most famous chindōgu is this fan that can be attached to your chopsticks in order to cool noodles before entering your mouth. This chindōgu fan is useful if you are nekojita (Sensible to burning your tongue while eating)

An interesting fact is that the selfie-stick was invented by the Japanese in 1995 and at the very beginning it was a chindōgu. It appeared featured in a chindōgu title “101 useless inventions”.

I while ago I had the honor to meet Dr Nakamatsu, one of the most prolific Japanese inventors ever. He is also very creative when it comes to creating chindōgu. In this picture we are testing one of his last prototypes to attach smartphones to your wrist so you don’t have to continuously retrieve it from your pocket.