A Primer on Chindogu


Chindogu, the Japanese-borne art of intentionally useless inventions, is close to my heart. After being given a book cataloging hundreds of them by my father, I've since grown quite fond of the concept.

Lately, my interest in such creations has spiraled into the realm of obsession. Thankfully, my obsession is a healthy one (says I) and has brought about the creation of this very article.

Thus, I proudly outline a number of my favorite Chindogu doohickeys here, elaborating on the unique scenarios in which I believe they would be most un-useless.

Slow Burn

This invention, like all good Chindogu, may seem a sensational idea at first glance. But, for those who dare to ponder its practical utility more deeply, its weakness as an incendiary device is easy to spot.

However, such an understanding overlooks its obvious utility as a means of quitting the habit. Immediacy, satisfaction, relaxation... none of these can a smoker using this expect to enjoy.

"Two Way" Toothpaste

It's remarkable how the simplest of things can seem so alien with the slightest of modifications.

Much like three-legged khakis and shoes with individual toe sections, a tube of toothpaste with not one, but TWO whole caps from which to squeeze out sweet paste of tooth is a sight to behold.

At the very least, your interest in oral hygiene may very well be given new life.

Never go thirsty...

At least not in a monsoon.

This device is a true hydro-maniac's best friend. The thirsty cheapskate's greatest achievement; this invention marks the turning point in human history from advancement to general confusion.

Feel free to make use of this. Just be sure not to walk under any trees.

Almost Genius

There are plenty of half-baked ideas that have been acted upon throughout human history in an effort to rid our homes of pests, but only these fine Chindogu specimens are so poorly suited for killing unlucky bugs.

Besides poorly serving their main purpose, they entirely fail as comfortable slippers as well. As far as the art of Chindogu is concerned, these are absolutely perfect.


A skilled ballerina would delight in having these. Unfortunately, no one else would.

I can picture myself using these now - sweeping with great care the smallest of messes before levitating to the nearest trash can to empty the load, then wondering why I, a man who can apparently levitate, would need these at all.

"I feel a roll coming on."

Having a cold sucks. Having a cold and no dignity sucks much worse.

Thus, converting your head into a private toilet paper dispensary is clearly the way to go if utter misery is your end-goal.


Unlike the lovable robotic assistant "Verbot" of old, "Vertub" is devoid of lights and sounds.

Indeed, "Vertub" does no tricks save one; drowning its user and subsequently exploding in a gloriously disastrous catastrophe.

Thanks for reading and, hopefully, laughing in mild pain. Tweet us your favorite chindogu (@odd_nugget) and stay tuned for much more. Oh, and stay odd!


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