From Wikipedia:

Chindōgu (珍道具) is the not-so-ancient Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, Chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions, would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, Chindōgu are sometimes described as 'unuseless' - that is, they cannot be regarded as 'useless' in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called 'useful'.

the noodle eater’s hair guard

hay fever hat

umbrella head band

portable office tie

360 degree panoramic camera

ten-in-one gardening tool

personal rain saver

Via, with a couple more examples and further links.


Anonymous said...

i TOTALLY bought and used the noodle hair guard when I was kid...except it was advertised as a way to prevent shampoo from getting into kids' eyes. It was pretty damn useful.

xenmate said...

hum... does that mean it's not a Chindogu anymore?