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.

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Paper book covers

In an attempt not to stray into any Mockingjay spoilers online, I’m composing this post to distract me, and to keep me from opening a certain file that is, erm, burning a hole in my hard drive, so to speak… I can’t wait to get my copy of Mockingjay tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s something I discovered over the weekend: paper book covers!

There was a sale at a one-price Japanese store and my sibs and I wanted to go because we were expecting to take home a huge haul. The sale turned out to be bitterly disappointing, but I hated going all the way out there for nothing! There were a bunch of sorry looking bargain bins which contained weird odds and ends — miniature bundt tins, plastic flowers, fleecy headbands, and other remnants — and I was halfheartedly rooting in one of the bins when I found some packs of paper book covers for only P25 (about $0.50) each, so I went from bin to bin and came up with four packs.

Continue reading “Paper book covers”

Chindogu Mania


When I was in the hospital, my cousin Chickoy lent me his chindogu book, 99 More Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami (book #139 for 2009) to keep my mind off blood tests and platelet counts. And it worked, too, as the book kept me plenty entertained for a whole afternoon.

I’ve always been fascinated with Japanese ingenuity — I love going to the Japanese one price stores (here we have Saizen and Japan Home Center) to blow my money on all sorts of things, from plastic boxes with multiple compartments, gashapon display cases, nylon book cases, clip-on reading lamps, wrapping paper, pet toys, shoe racks, felt crafting materials, beanie pillows, bamboo mats, and all sorts of stuff I don’t really need but are fun to buy and convenient to have around!

Anyway, chindogu is the term for Japanese inventions for everyday gadgets to provide solutions for common problems. Chindogu has a distinctive characteristic, however, as the solution it presents causes even more problems, i.e. embarassment, unwieldiness, etc. They are not totally useless, just problematic, hence the term “unuseless.”

It’s more entertaining to look at the photos than listen to me going on and on about them, so here are some “ingenious” inventions from the book:

Portable armrests! Now your arms can relax even when you’re outdoors.

Carry-all apron. Have all your cooking implements within easy reach!

The lip stencil — perfect lips every time!

and if that lip stencil isn’t working for you, try the lip stamp!

The hold-it helmet — for hands-free reading!

The solution to my fear of getting dengue fever again.

Now wasn’t that fun? My nurse was wondering why I was laughing so hard.

I have to return the book to Chickoy, so will definitely keep my eyes peeled for my own copy. There are other books in the series too, I’ll definitely want those as well.


My copy: trade paperback, borrowed from Chickoy

My rating: 5/5 stars for sheer entertainment value