Yoshihiro NakaMats, 79, is Japan’s most prolific – and bizarre –
inventor. He claims to have 3,350 patents (Thomas Edison only had
1,093), and that several of them are for the floppy disk. "Everyone
knows about the floppy disk," he says. "But I also invented the fax
machine, automatic pachinko, and the taxi meter." While running for
mayor of Tokyo last spring, he announced that he possessed three secret
tools that would save the world from mass destruction: a device capable
of turning North Korean missiles around in mid-air, a love potion more
effective than Viagra that would reverse the declining birth rate, and
a new water-to-fuel technology that fights global warming. The weird
thing is that he could be telling the truth.
I’ve been asked to write a bi-monthly column on io9 about Japanese culture and sci-fi/futurism. It’ll be every other Friday, starting yesterday, and I kicked it off with a piece about Osamu Tezuka’s Apollo’s Song, a manga about love and sex and clones which is now finally available in English 28 years after it was written.