Japan has long been an exporter of the most amazing creations to bless American culture. Aside from the music, food and zen philosophies, Japanese art has deeply influenced cultures around the globe, beginning with the prints created by Hokusai in the 1800s. When Under the Wave off Kanagawa arrived in Europe the impressionist movement was born, giving life to modernism and art nouveau.
Almost two centuries later, the creations of another mind would bring new meaning into art and product design by creating a comical hybrid of the two. Kenji Kawakami was working at a Japanese magazine called Mail Order Life when the opportunity to fill some empty pages presented itself. He chose to publish photos of unusual products of his own invention. While arguably useful, the items were completely impractical for everyday life. It was then that the art of Chindogu was born. During this time Kenji had started his own production company, and one of the first projects revealed the concepts of Chindogu. After he had created enough Chindogu, Kenji collected them into one work and published his book 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions.
In an interview with PingMag Kenji presented the “Chindogu Ten Commandments,” which are:
1. A chindogu must not actually be used.
2. It must have some function.
3. It must have an anarchic element.
4. It must be a tool for everyday life.
5. It must not actually be put on the market.
6. It must not be only for the purpose of humour.
7. It must not be for black humour.
8. “Dirty” jokes are forbidden.
9. It must not be for profit.
10. It must be usable internationally.
Don’t waste energy blowing on hot soup.
Feet-sweepers, because bending over is hard.
For those long subway rides.
Battleship for back scratching. “B4, please.”
Learn to walk while cleaning the floors, because what the hell else are babies useful for.
360 degree camera rig—an erie look into the future of technology.
Alternative to the plunger method.
There is nothing more fashionable than preparedness.
You know what they say: the top of your head is nature’s pocket.
If you still can’t get eyedrops in with this you’re just straight up a bitch.
Umbrellas were invented over 4,000 years ago, but this is what you call progress.
Combine with the fan for optimal dining experience.
Perfect lipstick every time.