Book Review: Bumper Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami

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The book I’m reviewing today is one I actually was recommended on a design course. I’m sure about 90% of books from degree courses that are more specific to the topic get sold in or donated to charity shops after the course, I know that’s what I’ve intended for mine, but I found myself picking this one up when I was thinking about getting rid of it and reading through it all again. It’s the Bumper Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami with a foreword by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

I think it’s the kind of book that’s actually interesting and entertaining for a variety of reasons, probably one of the ones that will draw people in is that wtf Japan? side of it that the internet seems to love. This book is full of 200 unuseless inventions, it combines two books that were originally published separately, and has photos alongside a bit of an explanation on what everyday problem they are trying to fix. These are all inventions designed to fix something, however they do end up causing more problems or embarrassment through using them, that is what makes them unuseless. It’s what makes them Chindogu, which is essentially a unuseless product and a word I had never heard of before this book.

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