from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Chindōgu ( Japanese珍 道具 [ t͜ɕindoːɡɯ̞̈ ], literally strange device ) is a humorous version of an invention and at the same time a kind of joke . It solves an actual problem in a particularly creative way, while its actual use would cause more problems than it would solve.

A Chindogu is z. B. an umbrella tie , in which a businessman ties an umbrella with a collar instead of a tie . Purported purpose: You are always prepared for rain because you never run the risk of forgetting your umbrella at home.

Chindogus do not necessarily have to be functional; the chindogu is only made or arranged so that it can be photographed .


The concept as well as the name of the Chindogus comes from Japan , it was "invented" by Kenji Kawakami (* 1946), although similar approaches were ascribed to artists and inventors before him, in Germany for example Christian Schnabel (1878-1936) and Karl Valentin (1882-1948).

Japanese humor often relies on the embarrassment of a situation. Therefore, the chindogu includes a photo in which the chindogu actually appears to be used in an everyday situation. Of course, a businessman wearing an umbrella tie looks ridiculous in the midst of other businessmen wearing normal ties.

Chindogus are also a satire on the inventiveness of Japanese companies who, according to the Kaizen concept, have to fool the consumer into thinking that he has to buy a new device all the time because a small function has been added even if the old device is still working. In this respect, cell phones with built-in televisions , for example, are unintentional chindogus, a real satire .

Occasionally, Chindogu products even find commercial applications - and of course immediately lose their Chindogu status. One example are toilet slippers that can be walked on on both sides and that were offered in the mail order catalog of a Japanese agricultural cooperative in 2003 .

10 rules for chindogus

  1. A chindogu must actually be useless.
  2. There really has to be a chindogu.
  3. A chindogu must have the spirit of anarchy within.
  4. Chindogus are tools for everyday life.
  5. A chindogu is not intended for sale.
  6. A chindogu cannot be created on a whim.
  7. Chindogus are not propaganda, they are innocent.
  8. Chindogus are never taboo.
  9. A chindogu cannot be patented.
  10. A chindogu is always free of prejudice.


“Normal inventions are all about making money. It is different with chindogus. They teach us how to creatively implement ideas. "

- Kenji Kawakami

“Chindogus can give life a different direction. They change perception. "

- Kawakami : Interview with GEO (No. 8/2006)

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. No more wet books. Superfluous, but useful: Unpatentable Chindogus make the world more beautiful taz 5550/1998, June 8, 1998, page 20 (here mirrored version by author Mark Benecke )
  2. Helge Dickau: special weapon. On the edge of the plate: the spoon is rare, but has found its niche. ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 369 kB) In: Weserkurier from August 19, 2012, p. 26 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. object fur Busy Winter toothpick in Munich Valentin-Musäum