The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami

The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions - Kenji Kawakami, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Dan Papia

My first thought upon finding this was, "Oh my God, is this a thing?" My second thought upon finding this was, "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!" My third thought upon finding this was, "Oh shit, another awesome book I wouldn't have discovered if not for Goodreads & don't have a snowball's chance of getting."

Except I did find a copy, for a mere fifty-cents, too, at my library's monthly book sale. I snapped up that puppy just as someone else was reaching towards it ("MINE!" I say, "MINE!!!!!!") and took it home, whereupon it fell behind my bed along with the million or so ARCs I've received in the mail from authors wanting me to review their books, and I forgot about it until I started cleaning and was like, "OH MY GOD!!! SHINY BOOK!"

So here we are.

THE BIG BENTO BOX OF UNUSELESS JAPANESE INVENTIONS lives up to its name. In this book, we learn about the art of "chindogu." To qualify as chindogu, an item must have been made with the intent to solve a problem--and fail miserably, and in a comical way. Like little mop booties for your cat so it cleans the floor as it walks. Or a full-body umbrella. Or a tie that has built-in pockets for scissors, credit cards, calculator, pens, etc. Or a no-hands table tennis paddle you wear around your face. Chindogu cannot be made with the intent of comedy (so 99.9% of the kluges on "There I Fixed It" are out). No, they are SRS BUSINESS.

Chindogu is apparently Japanese for "crap I bought on infomercials while watching daytime TV."

Like the butter stick.

The fancy shoe umbrellas.



The portable tissue dispenser hat.





And the homicide-inducing cat device.





3.5 stars!