Chindogu anyone?

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Being stalked? Just go ahead and camouflage yourself as a Coke machine.

Martin Fackler's NYTimes article Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place gives us a look at the peculiar world of Japanese innovation.

Writes Fackler:

[Japan is] home to a prolific subculture of individual inventors, whose ideas range from practical to bizarre. Inventors say a tradition of tinkering and building has made Japan welcoming to experimental ideas, no matter how eccentric.

“Japanese society won’t just laugh, so inventors are not afraid to try new things,” said Takumi Hirai, chairman of Japan’s largest association of individual inventors, the 10,000-member Hatsumeigakkai.

In fact, Japan produces so many unusual inventions that it even has a word for them: chindogu, or “queer tools.”

A chindogu manifesto is available online for all you budding inventors. The ten tenets are:

1. A Chindogu cannot be for real use.

2. A Chindogu must exist.

3. Inherent in every Chindogu is the spirit of anarchy.

4. Chindogu are tools for everyday life.

5. Chindogu are not for sale.

6. Humor must not be the sole reason for creating Chindogu.

7. Chindogu are not propaganda.

8. Chindogu are never taboo.

9. Chindogu cannot be patented.

10. Chindogu are without prejudice.

And here are a few examples of chindogu from the King of Chindogu - Kenji Kawakami.

Finally, here's more from the International Chindogu Society. Check out the "portable zebra crossing" >>

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This page contains a single entry by Christian Sarkar published on October 21, 2007 1:13 AM.

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