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Updated: May 15, 2021

Chindogu was created by Japanese artist Kenji Kawakami in the 1990s, who describes these inventions as "un-useless." He coined the term chindogu using a combination of the Japanese words chin, meaning "strange" or "odd," and dougu, which means "device" or "tool." But chindogu is more than a mashup of words (a portmanteau, if you will); it's a philosophy.

There are 10 tenets of chindogu, according to the chindogu society:

  • A chindogu cannot be for real use.

  • A chindogu must exist. No thought experiments allowed.

  • There must be the spirit of anarchy.

  • Chindogu are tools for everyday life.

  • Chindogu are not tradeable commodities.

  • Humour must be the byproduct of a chindogu.

  • Chindogu is not propaganda.

  • Chindogu are never taboo.

  • Chindogu cannot be patented.

  • Chindogu are without prejudice.

See some more examples here. Official website here.

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