Ever seen those carts powered by people that carry others around? This clever and simple invention is called a rickshaw, and it was first invented by the Japanese in 1860. It was a cheap and popular mode of transportation at the time, and it also allowed the rickshaw driver to stay in great shape.
2. Instant Ramen Noodles
Do you love instant ramen noodles? If so, you can thank the Japanese for that invention. Momofuku Ando invented them after seeing the destruction caused by World War II. Chicken Ramen noodles were first sold in 1958, and college dorms have never been the same since.
3. The Novel
The Tale of Genji, written in 11th century Japan, is considered the first novel ever written. It was written by a woman called Marusaki Shikibu and it’s about a handsome aristocrat and his many romances.
While it’s believed that an earlier version of the katana sword was brought over to Japan from China, the version that we know today was made much lighter and master-crafted by the Japanese. It first appeared in the Muromachi period from 1392-1573 AD.
5. Imari Porcelain
Invented in Japan in the 16th century, Imari Porcelain was a popular export with the Dutch East Indian Trading Company. It was discovered and made by the potter Ri Sampei.
The Sord SmP80/08, invented and developed in 1972, was the world’s first microcomputer. While it was an initial failure and never went into production, it was a great step forward for computers.
The karaoke machine was invented by Diasuke Inoue in 1969, but he didn’t have a product to go to market with until 1971. To begin with, it wasn’t a big hit, but eventually, bars all over Japan wanted one.
While the technology had actually been around for a while, Sony figured out how to put cassette tapes into a compact box that would allow you to listen to music on the go. They called it the Walkman and released it in 1979. This device helped cassette tapes outsell vinyl records for the first time in history.
While handheld video recording devices had been around since the 50’s, Sony released the very first camcorder in 1983. It recorded everything on a Betamax tape and was much simpler than the previous ways of recording movies.
10. Electric Rice Cooker
The very first electric rice cooker was invented by Toshiba in 1955. It had totally revolutionized Japanese households by 1960, and by 1970, they continued to evolve with microcomputers capable of adjusting temperatures.
11. Camera Phone
Nowadays, having a camera on your phone is commonplace, but back in 1999, it was unheard of. Kyocera Corporation, a Japanese company, released the first cell phone with a camera, that they called the VisualPhone VP-210, which could store up to 20 JPEG images.
3D printing might seem like a new phenomenon, but the technology has been around for quite some time. In 1981, at the Nagoya Muncipal Industrial Research Institute, Hideo Kodama published his idea of a rapid prototyping system using photopolymers. This was the first concept of a 3D printer.
13. Pocket Calculator
Calculators have been around for a very long time, but the first microchip-based pocket calculator was invented by the Japanese company Busicom in 1970. It was called the Busicom LE-120 Handy.
14. Bullet Train
Trains lost their steam in the United States after the car was invented. However, in Japan, they came back in a big way. Japan invented and unveiled the first high-speed rail line, or the Bullet Train, from Tokyo to Osaka in 1984. This invention gained worldwide popularity, especially in densely populated areas.