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All our products have a real practical use and are perfectly usable.
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Chindogu according to Wikipedia,
“Chindogu is the Japanese art of inventing gadgets.”
“Useful but unusable”
These objects seem useful because they solve small everyday problems of modern life but turn out to be unusable in practice because of the new constraints they generate or the sheer ridiculousness they entail.”
The literal translation is “curious / strange tool”.
Chindogu is actually an art form created in the 1980s by Kenji Kawakami, a Japanese engineer.
Although he has filed several patents, Kenji Kawakami claims to invent or innovate without commercial or utilitarian purposes.
With a degree in aeronautics, Kenji Kawakami became an inventor of absurd objects in a joyful form of anti-consumerism and against the omnipresent utilitarianism of the modern world by creating an international movement dedicated to the invention of preposterous objects.
The preface to the Japanese engineer’s book, “101 Useless and Wacky Japanese Inventions”, published by “Vent d’Ouest” in 1998, states that all the creations on display are of high quality and that all these products have been tested to ensure their reliability.
Kenji Kawakami began his career as a cartoon scriptwriter, already denouncing the symbols of Japanese modernity, such as karaoke, the national “sport” of his country. In the 1980s, while running the consumer magazine Tsuhan Seikatsu, he created the Chindogu movement. Now, more than 20 years and 600 inventions later, his fame knows no boundaries. Fans have founded Chindogu clubs in the United States, Great Britain and Japan, and thousands of proselytisers ponder the most useless concepts by following the “Ten Commandments of Chindogu” (see next page).
The fork with a built-in motor for rolling up spaghetti: which can get very messy, the mini umbrellas for shoes, the hat for people with colds with a roll of toilet paper at hand, etc.
The absurdity has made Kenji Kawakami a star. He has published four books, all of which are bestsellers in Japan and have been translated into several languages.
Every week, millions of Japanese watch television to see his latest rant.
There is an association of over 10,000 people worldwide:
“The International Chindogu Society” http://chindogu.com/ics/
There is also a “French Chindogu Academy”! académie française des chindogus
“We are witnessing a phenomenon similar to the industrial revolution in England,” says Kawakami with that sense of self-deprecation he never loses.
“Being free is the most important thing in life. Chindogu is the symbol of freedom, only a free soul can create stupid and crazy things”, explains Kawakami.
The founder of Chindogu assures that the number of products we can create when we are free from practicality is infinite, which is why he plans to publish an album on the science of the useless. The new book contains a safe with a combination so long that it would take 160 times the lifetime of the universe to crack it. It is, according to the author, an allegory of time – and the waste of time.
Below you will find a video with chindogus more or less known to all!
The ten principles of chindogu
- The chindogu must not be designed for real use. It should be practically unusable.
- A chindogu must exist. Even if it cannot actually be used, the chindogu must physically exist.
- Each chindogu must convey the idea of a certain anarchy, and have been created in a certain anarchy. Chindōgu are objects created by man but which have freed themselves from the concept of utility. They represent the freedom to think and act; the freedom to defy the old, suffocating dominance of the useful; the freedom to be (almost) useless.
- The chindōgu are designed for everyday life. They should be understood by everyone, and everywhere. The chindōgu is a form of non-verbal communication. Extremely specific or technical inventions are not classifiable as chindōgu.
- Chindōgu are not sold. Chindōgu are not meant to be sold or bought.
- Humour should not be the sole motivation for creating a chindōgu. The creation of a chindōgu is basically a “problem-solving” activity. The humour is simply the co-product of finding an elaborate and/or unconventional solution to a problem that was not necessarily compelling.
- The chindōgu is not propaganda. A chindōgu is innocent. It is meant to be used, even if it will not be used. It should not be created as a perverse or ironic commentary on the human condition.
- A chindōgu cannot be taboo. It must not be vulgar, nor must it harm any living creature.
- A chindōgu cannot be patented. Chindōgu are offered to the whole world. They are therefore not ideas that can be protected, copyrighted, patented, collected or owned. As the Spanish say, “Mi chindōgu, es tu chindōgu”.
- A chindōgu must not cause any harm.
At the La Rochelle trade fair (September 2021), the chindogu celebrated the useless
A photo showed a pair of shoes with hooves and the following message: “Deer and wild boar are in the line of fire. Help them by leading hunters on false trails”. An astonishing, funny and totally superfluous invention that fits perfectly with the philosophy of chindogu, the chindogu that was the theme of the La Rochelle 2021 fair.
The concept was invented by the Japanese Kenji Kawakami and taken up by the French inventor Jean-Christophe Coq,” explains Bertrand Syre, who is in charge of the programming of animations and the theme in 2021. When we saw the exhibition in Montluçon a few years ago, we said to ourselves that we absolutely had to show this invention! We wanted to do something that would challenge people! And it worked. In the room, laughter broke out here and there. “They have imagination,” said one visitor.
Nature, the beach, transport… Many themes were addressed at this exhibition in La Rochelle. In total, more than 200 objects were divided by theme. Here, chopsticks are equipped with a fan to cool Asian noodles during lunch break. So you don’t have to choose between burning your tongue or being late for work. Here, small umbrellas for shoes so that you don’t come home with wet feet. The last example: the spike alarm clock. Equipped with spikes, it guarantees an energetic awakening when pressed to turn it off, preventing you from falling back to sleep.
Conclusion by Kenji Kawasaki
Kawakami disagrees with those who believe that man’s inventions have always been for the better: in his view, the digital age shows that mankind sometimes creates inventions that separate us and make us less and less communicative. With his absurd gizmos, this frustrated inventor seeks to make us laugh while drawing attention to the aberrations of a world that swears by novelty.
Lessons to learn from chindogu!
Are you making chindogu without knowing it?
Even if the wacky inventions inspired by chindogu are often just fun, it is imperative to ask yourself if the invention you think is revolutionary and will change the world is simply chindogu!
Kenji Kawakami, Japon. Joindre l’inutile au dérisoire courrier international 16-4-2014
( Kenji Kawakami, Japan. Joining the useless with the derisory international mail 16-4-2014)
Top 32 Funny But Useless Japanese Inventions – YouTube
A la Foire-Expo de La Rochelle, le chindogu célèbre l’inutile
(At the La Rochelle trade fair, the chindogu celebrates the useless)
Gifts Custopolis.com Original and classic gifts during every event of the year
- Travel chess games – €6.90on 28 May 2023 at 9 h 11 min
Progressively the movement of certain pieces is modified and, with a few details, all the really significant rules of the game (in particular the optional advance of the P, the prise en passant, the promotion and the castling) are acquired at the end of the XVth century. From Spain, the chess scepter passed to Italy (16th and 17th centuries), then to France (18th century), Great Britain and Germany (19th and early 20th century). Since the Second World War, for men, it has been the almost permanent property of the Soviet Union and then of Russia, whose supremacy, over a period of sixty years, was only really broken by the American Bobby Fischer (1972-1975). Before the Second World War, the best player in the world, Vera Menchik-Stevenson, was British. From the creation of a women’s world championship in 1949 until the disappearance of the USSR, the crowned champions (L. Rudenko, E. Bykova, O. Rubtsova, N. Gaprindashvili, M. Tchibourdanitzé and their rivals, K. Zvorikina, N. Alexandria, N. Iosséliani and E. Akhmilovskaya) were all Soviets. In the following years, players of other origins, such as the Chinese Xie Jun, Zhu Chen, Xuhua, the Hungarian-American Susan Polgar, the Bulgarian Antonoeta Stefanova, would appear. A list of famous men interested and sometimes passionate about chess would include hundreds of names. We can only quote those of whom we have very good games: J.-J. Rousseau, A. de Musset, Tolstoy, Meyrinck, Lewis Carroll, Lenin, Piatigorsky, D. Oistrakh, S. Prokofiev, M. Duchamp, V. Nabokov, John Paul II.
- Giant Wooden Dice Set – €8.90on 28 May 2023 at 9 h 11 min
Dice are used in many games. The best known are played with 2 dice like Craps, with 3 dice like 421 or with 5 dice like Yahtzee or Yams. Reiner Knizia, a world-renowned German game designer, reports that he has found 150 different dice games, which he explains in his book Dice Games Properly. Dice were found in the Indus civilisation in 2400 BC. Dice identical to those we know today have been found, with 6 sides and 6 small holes. Generally cubic with 6 sides usually numbered from 1 to 6 and therefore the values of the opposite sides is equal to 7. Dice have also been used as objects of divination. The Greeks claimed to be the originators of dice. According to Sophocles, the dice were invented by Palamedes, a Greek hero in Troy during the siege. Archaeologists have found dice in Troy. Ancient Greek vases also show Trojan war heroes playing dice. However, the dice we offer are larger than usual. These giant dice will please many players, both young and old. These dice are therefore perfect as birthday presents or as gifts for a party with friends. An original wooden game gift, to learn many dice games and have hours of fun.
- Tile coaster with adult birthday label for personalization – €9.90on 28 May 2023 at 9 h 11 min
Please note: the dimensions of the tiles may vary slightly from the product presentation images. Tiles Buy unusual and original kdo tiles, incomparable and unique personalized surprises, funny or unique gifts all is possible from Gifts-custopolis-gifts.com The term “tiling” originally referred to the laying of tiles and then, by metonymy, to the result of this act. It then refers to a floor or wall covering made of ceramic tiles – terracotta tiles, earthenware tiles, stoneware tiles (often called porcelain stoneware) – or marble or cement tiles or vinyl tiles. These different types of tiles are laid side by side and then glued or sealed. Tiles are commonly used to finish and decorate floors and walls in homes and other buildings, both indoors and outdoors. In construction, tiling is done by the tiler. Tiles are usually thin, square or rectangular tiles made of durable materials such as ceramic, stone, metal, terracotta or even glass. They are usually set in a grid to cover roofs, floors, walls, edges or other objects such as table tops. A tile to personalise is smart and on Gifts-custopolis.com. Personalise with a photo, a work of art, or a Mother’s Day label, a Father’s Day label, … so it’s unique.
- Mask to personalise with tribal design – €9.90on 28 May 2023 at 9 h 11 min
In Europe, just a few months ago, wearing masks in Japan seemed very exotic. At the beginning of the pandemic in Europe, when masks were scarce and were available at prohibitive prices, many of the citizens, generally the most agile with their hands, made protective masks in a very artisanal way. They were often made with whatever they could get their hands on, without really being sure they had the right technique, nor the right fabric, and the motifs of the masks were of little importance. Sometimes fanciful or even plain without a soul. Today, the price of masks has fallen sharply. With the mask we offer you at a democratic price you will have an authentic protective mask and a design that brings out your personality, your identity, thanks to a graphic like a tribal tattoo. Behind its abstract designs and complex lines the tribal motifs were created thousands of years ago. They evoke the elements of nature (earth, fire, water, air, ocean, sun), animals (turtles, lizards, shark teeth), each with its own symbolism. Power, eternity, purity, immunity, fertility, the values carried by these tattoos are numerous. Ancestral and religious practice at the beginning to become today a fashion phenomenon through the subjects of the tattoos. Ideal gift to emphasize or bring out the ornaments, the motives which enthuse you..
- Mask to personalise with an animal muzzle – €9.90on 28 May 2023 at 9 h 11 min
Throughout history, masks made of pig bladders with crow heads have been seen during major pandemics. Today you can personalise the mask you buy with the muzzle of a pet or why not a tiger. During periods of plague, masks with the shape of a bird’s beak were made for doctors with medicinal plants that were supposed to kill the various infections attributed to the epidemics. The models of the masks have never ceased to be revisited in an attempt to improve them. Archive photos show that the miners wore masks to protect them from all the flying and suspended dust during their activities at the bottom of the mine. Around 1850, medical masks appeared. Charles Urbain Bricogne, a French engineer, developed a mask to protect against dust, dust which was dangerous to the health of railway employees. At the dawn of the 20th century, the occupants of the tanks were obliged to put on a mask to protect themselves from the paint and iron debris coming from the walls due to the consequences of shell and bullet impacts. Today, multiple means of protection are used: visor or face screen. These are systems already in use in various sectors of activity whose common aim is to protect against all types of projections. Visor used in metallurgy, welding, etc. Masks to be personalised with the muzzle of an animal, dog, cat, tiger, an indispensable gift for those who care about the health of their loved ones. Gift for him, gift for her, gift for mum, gift for dad fun gift