Four Bizarre Japanese Inventions

Noodles 560x302InventionsJapan is well known for its endless wellspring of zany products. There are so many of these delightful adventures in bad invention logic, that there’s bound to be a great deal of forgotten classics to tickle the WTF corner of the brain. Here are four solutions to the problems of the mentally unstable.

You can find many more in the awesome book featured to the right, The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions.

1) Child Labor Clothes

Baby Mop

Why send your kids off to China for a strong lesson in the realities of the work world when you can strap a mop to babies, and make them do the house work for you when they crawl around your delightful sweatshop? Some delinquent parent in Japan thought of stitching a mop into baby clothes so you can kill two souls with one product.

The strangest part is that it actually caught on somewhat. You can find baby mop clothes at several retailers in America and other countries. Undoubtedly, Cinderella’s stepmother is smiling from Hell at the people who buy these.

2) Lung Cancer Incubator

Smoke Mask

If you’ve ever taken a trip to Japan in the winter, you’ll know that many wear mouth masks like surgeons do, to prevent the spread of germs. These are available everywhere in infinite varieties, and one man thought to cater to smokers everywhere with “The Mask for Heavy Smoking Use.” It can fit up to 12 cigarettes at a time in little cigarette-sized holes stuck in a surgical mask strapped over the mouth. It’s like the beer drinkers helmet for neurotic smokers.

3) Portable Zebra Crossing


Have you ever been concerned that your zebra isn’t crossing the road safely? Actually, “zebra crossing” is a Japanese slang term for the white and black lines that signify pedestrian crosswalks. This thing is designed to be carried like an art project or a poster, which of course minimizes inconvenience. Take the cap off, pull it out, and roll it across the street. Surely, this was marketed toward passive aggressive victims of jay-walking tickets.

4) World’s Politest Commuter Cap


If you’ve ever commuted on subways or trains, you’ll be familiar with the unpleasant drool of somebody sleeping all over you. This piece of lateral thinking prevents that. Looking like a red hard hat (complete with a sign with your personalized name on it informing the curious that you are sleeping and not to be disturbed) with a plunger attached, simply affix it to the train wall, and you too can look like you’re communicating with the alien hive mind in public! Sure, it prevents nodding off onto an adjacent passenger, but what can it do about the paranoid guy with questionable dental hygiene in the corner staring malevolently at you?