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a blog from Eli the Bearded
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99 More Unuseless Japanese Inventions

By Kenja Kawakami (original 1997, American edition 1998)

From the author's introduction:

I introduced the term Chindogu in Japan in 1985. Coind from "Chin" meaning unusual and "dogu" meaning tool, it refers to a most universal concept: a gadget that appears to be useful, but on closer examination isn't. These inventions must exist, but they cannot serve a reasonable function. Inheritant in the premise of Chindogu is this fundamental contradiction.

Real products shown in this book:

Page 14, Rotating Spaghetti Fork, much like this: twirling spaghetti fork Looks like an Archie Mcphee product, though, not a serious tool.

Page 147, Umbrella Hat Plenty available at Amazon: page 1 of search results

Page 35, Cranium Camera Very similar to this one designed for smart phones: universal mount (And oddly categorized at amazon: "Cell Phones & Accessories > Accessories > Car Accessories > Car Cradles & Mounts > Car Mounts")

And the real king: Page 104-5, Self-Portrait Camera Stick keywords = selfie stick Like the other remote cameras in the book, it is shown with a bulb control instead of wireless, but hey, can't anticipate everything.

I had heard on the internet about that last one and when I saw the book for sale used (for a quarter), I decided to risk some money on it.

The Internet book photo going around: image at imgur

Maybe I'll scan a better one tomorrow from my "new" book.

Book at Amazon