Chindogu Mania, part 2

I really loved the chindogu book my cousin Chickoy lent me to cheer me up when I was confined in the hospital last year, so I set about to getting my own chindogu book. Luckily the first book in the chindogu series, 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions, also by Kenji Kawakami, was readily available on BookMooch.

Kawakami is recognized as the founder of chindogu, everyday gadgets designed to solve life’s little problems. Well, almost.

Chindogu are “bizarre and brilliant gizmos and gadgets that have broken free from the chains of usefulness to enjoy the sublime liberation of the highly impractical.”

According to the book, there are ten tenets of chindogu:

1. A chindogu cannot be for real use

2. A chindogu must exist

3. Inherent in every chindogu is the spirit of anarchy (i.e. free to challenge utility, and free to be almost useless)

4. Chindogu are tools for everyday life

5. Chindogu are not for sale

6. Humour must not be the sole reason for creating a chindogu

7. Chindogu is not propaganda

8. Chindogu never taboo (no cruelty and no sexual innuendos)

9. Chindogu cannot be patented (mi chindogu es tu chindogu!)

10. Chindogu are without prejudice

Here are some more samples of irresistibly pointless inventions:

water-saving umbrella

roll-on butter

chew counter

360 degree camera

and man boobs!

Chindogu books never fail to make me laugh!


101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions, paperback, 5/5 stars

Book #153 for 2010


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7 thoughts on “Chindogu Mania, part 2”

    1. Hi John, I don’t think so.

      According to the tenets of Chindogu #5

      “Chindogu are not for sale. Chindogu are not tradable commodities. If you accept money for one you surrender your purity. They must not even be sold as a joke.”

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