Japan has invented some pretty cool things; Mario, the Nissan Skyline, and PlayStation to name a few. Sure, sexy cars and even sexier game systems are great, but what would you choose as the truly exceptional Japanese inventions that influenced the world? Chinese media site, Xinhua Net News, weighed in on this question, giving us their top 10 list of most influential inventions from Japan.
In an earthquake-, typhoon- and Godzilla-prone country like Japan, you’ve got to think about disaster preparedness. Most people here have an emergency kit ready by the door and most offices conduct drills on responding to a disaster. The big problem is storage space. You need a lot of room when you are trying to provide food, water, first aid and physical protection to a number of people.
One company has come up with a new solution for the protection part of the equation: a simple chair that doubles as a hard hat with the simple twist of a dial.
Gadget-laden robot cat from the future Doraemon is something a national treasure here in Japan. Since the appearance of the original manga of the same name back in 1969, the subsequent TV series has been watched by multiple generations and is still on the air today. As well as remaining popular with adults and kids alike, the Japanese Foreign Ministry once declared the mechanical time-traveller the country’s official “animé ambassador”, meaning that the earless mechanical cat is sure to be around for a long time to come yet.
Perhaps the thing that people love most about Doraemon, though, is his seemingly bottomless pocket, from which the character produces all manner of gadgets and inventions in order to assist his human pal Nobita. Although the “dokodemo doa” (lit. “anywhere door”) is often given as the answer to the age-old conundrum “Which of Doraemon’s gadgets would you most like to have?”, it doesn’t stop people imagining what else could buried deep down in there.
In that vein, Yahoo! Japan recently announced the winner of its 2012-2013 Adults Only Doraemon Contest, in which contestants were asked to come up with an invention that they’d like to pull out of Doraemon’s pocket and use in real life, with the top prize being awarded to 50-year-old Rieko Honjou for her “Pee Baton”.
We all know that life can be cruel, but few things in this world are crueller than landmines that can indiscriminately maim or kill innocent civilians, young or old, decades after they’ve been planted. If ever you needed proof of human foolishness, you only have to think about the countless hidden landmines still buried in different parts of the world, perhaps long forgotten by the people who planted them, but still as capable as ever of maiming or killing unsuspecting victims.
Sadly, mines continue even today to be very much a real threat. In Afghanistan, it is reported that roughly one million people live within 500 meters (about 1/3 mile) of areas suspected of containing land mines and that more than 40 people each month lose their lives to these concealed but deadly contraptions. The tragic, needless loss of life is truly horrifying to think about. But now, there’s a new device that may make a huge difference in improving the situation. It’s called the Mine Kafun, and don’t let its somewhat futuristic yet simple appearance deceive you — this gadget could be a very effective and inexpensive weapon in mankind’s efforts to rid the world of landmines. Read More
With the help of a powerful home-made magnet, a man in Nanjing, China, now spends his days collecting small change dropped in streets, rivers and drains, sometimes amassing enough to pay his daily living expenses.
After accidentally dropping one of his valuable farming tools into a nearby river, Aibao Cheng struck upon the idea of attaching a few magnets from a broken radio to a long pole and fishing around in the water. When he discovered that his quickly assembled device had picked up a small handful of coins after just a few minutes, he wondered what would happen with an even more powerful magnet…
As great as touchscreen-operated mobile devices are, they’re a real pain in the neck when it comes to winter and you have to pull off your gloves to operate them.
It’s fine if you stop in a cafe or restaurant where you can slip your gloves off and type a quick message or check an email, but when an unexpected phonecall comes in and you’re left swiping at the unlock screen like a cat pawing at the TV during a nature show, you soon grow to hate using a smartphone in winter.
Gloves with special metal fibres in the tips have been on the market for a couple of years now, but they’re not always of the greatest quality. And even if you do find a decent pair, what if you already have a pair of gloves that you’re attached to and would rather use instead?
Japanese company Onsight might just have the perfect solution…
It’s a routine that many of us have been used to since we had packed lunches at school: peel back the yogurt lid, carefully separate it from the pot, inspect the underside, lick clean. Well, unless you were posh and used a spoon to scrape the excess back into the pot, but where’s the fun in that?
Well those days might soon be a thing of the past.
Like VHS, cassette tapes and Swatch watches, licking the lid of a yogurt pot might soon be something that only people of a certain age will fondly remember…
The clever minds at prestigious Keio University in Tokyo have created a new device that makes the rear seat “disappear” when reversing, and have released a new video demonstrating how, with its help, the sometimes arduous task of reversing into a space could soon become a breeze.
Tinkering around with a modified Toyota Prius, the university’s graduate research team have been putting their latest technology through its paces by having a driver with a particular fear of reverse parking give the maneuver a shot both with and without the device installed…
China seems to be a hotbed of independent development of new inventions recently. Inventing’s a tough business though. For example, “China’s Noah’s Ark” has dubious financial prospects.
However, in central Chongqing, China, the Wang family has been enjoying their much more promising invention: a floating bed that can be stored in the ceiling!
Since the invention of chain-driven transmission in the 1890s, the bicycle really hasn’t undergone any major structural changes.
And what could you possibly want to change? You’ve got two wheels for movement, handlebars for direction, a seat to hold your body weight and pedals to…
“Wait, pedals?”, thought the Germans. We don’t need no stinkin’ pedals.
- An Illustrated Guide to the Implications of not Washing Your Hands After Using the Restroom1
- We go behind the scenes at Japan Airlines’ in-flight meal factory【Photos】2
- Your Favorite Nintendo Games As You’ve Never Seen Them Before, As Traditional Japanese Prints3
- The official kanji of 2013 has been chosen!4
- From Cardigans to Carjackings: The best sellers of Amazon Japan in 20135
- Five awesome hot springs in Taiwan (one of them has been on fire for 300 years!)6
- 11 tips to spot (or imitate) a member of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces7
- Hey guys, unlucky with women? There’s always Latvia!8
- Cheerleaders! Maids! Japanese lingerie maker has you (slightly) covered for themed intimate apparel9
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】10
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China1
- An Illustrated Guide to the Implications of not Washing Your Hands After Using the Restroom2
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea3
- Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected4
- Girl runs away from home to stop her parents from buying a Japanese car5
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】6
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer7
- Live-action Attack on Titan gets release date, new director8
- 13 surprising Japanese translations of American movie titles9
- Hey guys, unlucky with women? There’s always Latvia!10
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】1
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】2
- “Wait, you’re a dude? Meh, marry me anyway.” New male princess stealing hearts in China3
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs4
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!5
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】6
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea7
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong8
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】9
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs2
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs5
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!6
- Meet the new model set to make manga artists’ lives a whole lot easier7
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right8
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!9
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】10
- Five awesome hot springs in Taiwan (one of them has been on fire for 300 years!)
- 11 tips to spot (or imitate) a member of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces
- Hey guys, unlucky with women? There’s always Latvia!
- Cheerleaders! Maids! Japanese lingerie maker has you (slightly) covered for themed intimate apparel
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】
- Twitpics show sumo wrestlers getting health checks… in spaaaaaaace!
- Amazon Japan teases gamers with shots of PlayStation 4 stockpiles, warns of inflated prices
- 【Thursday Throwback】Free Admission: 12 of Tokyo’s Best Kept Secrets
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right
- Pet owner builds tiny ninja house for hamster, escape panels and hidden doors galore
- Your holiday (counterfeit) gift-buying guide!
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea
- Survey shows Japanese workers least likely to take vacation time, most likely to hate their job