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Chindogu is the art of creating almost useless objects. That is, an invention that at first seems like a great idea, but, upon further reflection, reveals itself as more trouble than it's worth. For examples, check out the Internation Chindogu Society, where you can find such speciments as the backscratcher's t-shirt and the portable crosswalk.

Here's one I just came up with: a tiny toilet roll dispenser, about an 1.5" across, and paper rolls of a corresponding size. This would be mounted next to your sink. Then, after shaving, a gentleman can tear off tiny 1" x 1" squares of tissue to apply to his various cuts and nicks.

If the idea of chindogu appeals to you, I simply cannot recommend 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions : The Art of Chindogu too highly.

Posted on January 26, 2002 to Great Ideas