Saturday, November 15, 2008

You gotta love the Japanese!

"Bamgoo", an electric car with a body made out of bamboo, is displayed in Kyoto, western Japan, November 14, 2008. The sixty-kilogram single-seater ecologically friendly concept car, which measures 270 centimeters in length, 130 centimeters in width and 165 centimeters in height, is developed by Kyoto University Venture Business Laboratory, featuring bamboo articles in the Kyoto area. The car can run for 50 kilometers on a single charge.
Pasted from

The Japanese have created so many wacky and useless inventions that there has been a spin-off culture called "Chindogu" (Pronounced "shindogu.") Chindogu is defined on the French version of Wikipedia. (Which has kindly been translated to English for us by Google, so excuse the idiosyncrasies.) Chindogu, explains Wikipedia, is "the Japanese art of inventing 'useful but unusable' gadgets. These objects are useful because they meet small daily problems of modern life but are unusable in practice because of the new constraints they generate or ridiculous they entail."

"Chindogu is actually an art created in the 1980s by Kenji Kawakami, a Japanese engineer. Although he filed several patents, Kenji Kawakami claimed to invent the idea or innovation but not for commercial purposes or utility. He denounced as the "consumerism" and "utilitarianism" ubiquitous in the modern world."

This looks for all the world as though it is a Chindogu, but it's not! If you re-read the paragraph accompanying the picture above you will see that the car was developed by "Kyoto University Venture Business Laboratory" and is very much a commercial enterprise.

Which begs the question: Did they not build the car with the potential for crashes in mind? (Or is the car just one big crumple zone?!)

Chindogu wannabe!

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