Weird Yet Brilliant Japanese Inventions

What it is: Hand headrest that lets you nap at your desk
Invented: 2015
Average Price: $40*

This weird invention is slightly creepy-looking, but it does appear to be popular. The hand-shaped head holder attaches to your desk, and you can adjust the shape of the hand to conform to your head, allowing you to take a nap at the office, if you want. It’s sort of like a third, urethane hand.

You can also use it to rest your chin while you stay awake and get work done. The hand-shaped head holder is supposed to improve your posture. The invention has been around since 2015, and it costs the U.S. equivalent of around $40 in total.

What it is: An exercise tool that you put in your mouth to tighten facial muscles
Average Price: $37*

This looks like a torture device from a horror movie, but it’s not. The little pink figure goes between your lips in order to strengthen your facial muscles around your jaw and mouth. This prevents skin sagging and aging. You only have to use it three minutes a day to see results over time.

The mouth exercise training figure is made by Taruman, and it costs about $37. There are two versions: strong and normal, both of which are made of elastomer. The figure’s dimensions are 2.1” by 1.3” by 1.3” for reference. You can vary the strength based on how out of shape your face is.

Remote controlled floor mop

What it is: A floor mop operated by a video game controller
Invented: 2015
Average Price: $87.53*

The Japanese company Kyosho makes this, and it advertises this remote-control mop as a way to “mop without mopping.” The remote-control mop is somewhat of a Roomba, but, instead of a vacuum, it is a small floor mop. The remote-control in question is a video game console.

Basically, you can clean stuff without getting off the couch. Kyosho cautions against using the remote control mop for large cleaning projects, admitting that it is really only good for cleaning “small areas, spills, or small messes.” The remote-control mop is available on Amazon for $87.53 (although it’s rating is 2.5/5 stars).

What it is: Several benevolent, loud robotic dinosaurs that check-in people at a hotel
Invented: 2015 (certified by Guinness World Records in 2016)
Average Price: $0* (not for sale, they are working at a hotel)

Jurassic Park fans will like this one. At the Henn-na Hotel, located in suburban Tokyo’s Urayasu, there are two very interesting new staff members. The front desk is manned by robotic dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have sensors, and, when they sense you approaching, they scream, “WELCOME” at you.

The check-in dinosaurs have little bellboy hats and appear to be benevolent. Henn-na means “weird,” and the chain prides itself on its quirky experience. Particularly, Henn-na is pleased that it is the first hotel chain staffed by robots. The robotic dinosaurs are all Tyrannosaurus Rex models, though they are far from life-size.

Scream jar

What it is: Soundproof jar you can scream into to let off stress
Invented: 2016
Average Price: $81.72*

Everyone gets stressed out, but not everyone is able to just yell at someone when they’re stressed. The Banraishop Scream Jar Voice Silencer is primed for stress relief. You put the jar up to your mouth and scream into it. It is soundproof, so there is just a tiny whisper that comes out.

The Voice Silencer also is good for practicing karaoke or singing, but, judging from the reviews, people are mostly using it to rage-scream into. Or they’re giving it to their kids to yell into so that they’re not as annoying. It costs approximately $82 and is available on Amazon.

Walking fridge

What it is: A fridge that comes when called
Invented: 2017
Average Price: $5,000*

Designed by Panasonic, the Japanese Walking Fridge is something that fans of Requiem for a Dream or Black Mirror will like. The Walking Fridge comes to you when you call it. The Panasonic Moving Fridge, as it is called, comes with a LIDAR built-in. The fridge will be able to use the light detection/depth sensors to come to you without running into things.

When you call the 600-pound mini-fridge, it will waddle over to you. Panasonic created the fridge for elderly people or those with mobility problems, but anyone can use it. Caution: your pets will probably be freaked out by it.

Noodle-cooling fan chopsticks

What it is: A fan attached to chopsticks to blow on your noodles to cool them
Invented: 2018
Average Price: $99*

Everyone in Japan uses chopsticks, and this invention is basically chopsticks with a fan attached. The USB-powered fan latches onto the base of the chopsticks, blowing on your noodles and cooling them while you eat. The fan comes with the sound effects of bubble wrap, and some limited-edition Otaku versions have the voices of anime characters.

The noodle cooler is made by YO! Sushi. The fan first launched in 2018, and it has since become pretty popular, as, though it is technically Chindogu (Japanese for “useless invention”), it appears to work. YO! Sushi has also invented a Napkin Hat, Wasabi Stick, and Noodle Splash Guard.

Nose straightener

What it is: A clip to contour/straighten your nose
Invented: 2012
Average Price: $43*

Want a straighter nose but don’t want to shell out for surgery? Japanese inventors have you covered. The company has invented the Hana Tsun Nose Straightener. The silicon clip works to straighten the bones of your nose over time and make it more contoured. All you have to do is wear it twenty minutes per day.

According to Japan Trend Shop, the nose straightener is made in Japan and the instructions are all in Japanese. However, it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s unclear how long it will take to see results, but it has sold out rather quickly, so it must work, right?

Cubic sound catching pillow

What it is: A pillow that lets you lay on your side and still hear out of both ears
Invented: 2013
Average Price: Currently unlisted (out of stock everywhere)

Made by FUJIPACKS, the cubic sound catching pillow helps you be comfortable while watching TV. The cube-shaped pillow has cube-shaped holes in it, so, when you rest your head on its side while watching TV, your ear isn’t blocked off and you can still hear what’s going on.

FUJIPACKS All-Sound Catch Cubic Pillow comes in two colors (Dark Navy and Red), and reviewers have compared the filling of the pillow to “soft, fine sand.” The Cubic Pillow isn’t FUJIPACKS’ first Chigodu rodeo, as it has also invented a mushroom light ($44) and a stainless-steel four-way cylindrical nail file ($102).

What it is: Funnel glasses that help you put eyedrops in
Invented: 1991
Average Price: $15-$20*

A lot of people can’t put medication in their eyes. Whether that has something to do with a fear of something going in their eyes or they just don’t like it, it’s a big problem. Japanese eyedrop glasses are there to fix the problem. The eyedrop glasses contain a funnel balanced on each of the lenses.

You put the medication into the funnel, keep your eye open, and it goes right into your eye without a problem. The glasses are made by Topcon, located in Tokyo, Japan. According to the U.S. Patent Office, these eyedrop glasses were first patented in 1991.

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