The Greatest Inventor of All Time: Dr. NakaMats

From left to right: Dr. NakaMats, Dr. NakaMats.

Who would you say is the greatest inventor of all time? It’s kind of a tricky question. When you say “inventor,” most people think of Thomas Edison, or those late night infomercials that supposedly help aspiring inventors patent their creations. I just found out the other day that the greatest inventor of all time is not only alive, but still working hard in Japan. His name? Yoshiro Nakamatsu:

The Greatest Inventor of All Time

Thomas Edison I’m happy for you, imma let you finish, but Dr. NakaMats is one of the greatest inventors of all time!

He recently caught my attention when I saw a trailer for a documentary about Japan’s foremost inventor, “The Invention of Dr. NakaMats”:

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_w9XMTJnpM']

Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu prefers to be called Dr. NakaMats. He says that an eight letter name is easier to remember than a nine letter name, but don’t ask me why he capitalizes the M. The enigmatic octogenarian inventor is a bit of a minor celebrity, dressing in extravagant suits, and is the host of the World Genius Convention. He even has his own theme song! Who exactly is this strange man? How did he get to where he is today?

The House That Floppy Disk Built

One of his greatest claims to fame is the invention of the floppy disk (remember those?) more than fifty years ago. He’s even made a floppy disk the front gate to his house:

His house, a den of invention, looks more like a funhouse than your typical Japanese home. Full of fake doors, a gold-plated bathroom (he claims that the gold blocks out all outside distractions), and a showroom of all of his inventions, Dr. NakaMats’ house is probably one of the coolest places in all of Japan.

Go inside and you’ll find a 60 year history of the inventions of the greatest inventor of all time. He claims that his first invention came when he was just five years old, and he’ll be happy to show you a picture of a kindergarten-age Dr. NakaMats with his first invention. He says he gets his best thinking done in his pool, where he jots down flashes of inspiration on a waterproof pencil and notepad – his own invention, of course. Dr. NakaMats might spend a few minutes relaxing in Cerebrex, a recliner of his own creation which he claims a “130% increase of all power,” whatever that means.

Cerebrex, hard at work

You Are What You Eat

Dr. NakaMats taken a picture of every meal he’s eaten for over thirty years, which isn’t as impressive as you may think because he only eats one meal a day. He claims that through his daily regimen of diet and exercise, he will live to the ripe old age of 144.

Dr. NakaMats has also tried his hand at cooking, inventing his own line of supposedly brain-enhancing foods. The Travel Channel show Bizarre Food, in its visit to Japan, paid Dr. NakaMats a visit and sampled some of his brain food, including patented crackers and curry filled with “nano particles.”

Is He For Real?

Trust me baby, I’m a doctor

However, some of Dr. NakaMats’ claims seem a little questionable. IBM says that it invented the floppy disk on its own with no help from the good doctor. And a lot of his claims – like that he was the guest of honor at a dinner party thrown by the U.S. president, that cities around the world celebrate “Dr. NakaMats Day,” or that he has patented the most inventions of any person ever – are all pretty false.

But that hasn’t stopped Dr. NakaMats from continuing to experiment, invent and just do his own thing. Dr. NakaMats was a recipient of the 2005 Ig Nobel Prize, a prize given out every year for weird, off-the-wall unusual scientific discoveries, for his ongoing documentation about the food he eats. He’ll be happy to show off his collection of trophies and awards, but you might not want to quiz him about their validity.

All that being said, though, he is the proud owner of many patents and inventions. Here are some of the coolest ones.

Underwater Pencil and Notepad

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFxNGvTP99E']

As I said before, Dr. NakaMats gets some of his best thinking done underwater. His theory is that too much oxygen is bad for the brain, and that the best insight comes when your brain is so oxygen-deprived that you’re 0.5 seconds away from dying. He also believes that these flashes of insight are temporary, and you have to write them down immediately or they’ll slip away. Hence, he invented his own waterproof pencil and notepad so he could jot down those brilliant ideas before they disappear

Self-Defense Wig

Have you ever been walking alone down a dark street late at night, and wished that you had something to keep you safe? Something like mace, or a taser, or maybe martial arts lessons? Dr. NakaMats can do you one better. His self-defense wig can protect you from any potential attackers, as long as you’re wearing the hair piece. As the patent application above shows, it’s an easy and effective tool to stopping assailants dead in their tracks. Well, maybe not, but it’s kind of nifty anyway.

Pyon Pyon Flying Shoes

This is probably the most fun invention Dr. NakaMats has ever created. These “Pyon Pyon” shoes can makes you bound across distances with the greatest of ease, or jump really high like the good doctor above is doing. It looks like a lot of fun, and it can be yours for the low, low price of $180 on Dr. NakaMats’ site.

Golf Putter

Some people learn game theory, I want to learn grip theory

Dr. NakaMats will be the first person to tell you that he’s pretty bad at golf. But while some people might improve their golf game with long hours of practice on the links, Dr. NakaMats did what he does best: invented a solution. A different grip and a different head supposedly make it much easier to putt than with a normal putter.

Dr. NakaMats might not have the most patents of anyone in the history of the world, and his inventions might not be the most practical, but in my book he’s still one of the coolest, weirdest inventors of all time.

P.S.: You can follow Dr. NakaMats on Twitter or better yet, you should follow Tofugu on Twitter if you aren’t already!

  • nuggetinabiscuit

    He is not a fraud you buts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Bradley/1156077690 Jon Bradley

    That’s what they say about all geniuses.

  • sergej levcenko

    IM INVENTER VERY BIG IN LATVIA WANT COME IN JAPAN FOR SALE PATENT

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER

    SERGEJ LEVCENKO WANT COME YAPAN FOR SALE PATENT ON BIG SUMM>

  • Cailin Koy

    “It is not easier to remember 8 letters as opposed to 9 when the letters
    create meaningful sound in the context of language. It makes no sense to
    drop the u at the end of his name.”

    Errr. Actually – in Japanese, the “u” at the end of words ending in “su” IS often dropped, and u sounds are commonly elided when they run into other syllables. So his full name as pronounced by a Japanese person would often sound quite a bit more like “NakaMats” than it would “nakamatsu”. I can’t refute any of the rest of it, but the “u” in his name truly does not serve much functional purpose.

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    IM SERGEJ LEVCENKO HAVE MORE PATENT FOR JAPAN AND WISH SOON BE IN JAPAN!

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER STR SAKNY4_66 liepaja LATVIA. WANT MAKE HAppINESS WORDL MY PATENT.CHURH RIGA LATVIA

  • Timoboy

    boss

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER FROM LATVIA SEEK MEET WITH NAKAMATS FOR FRENDLY AND BUSSINES IN YAPONII>

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER FROM

    SERGEJ LEVCENKO VERY BIG INVENTER WANT COME JAPAN FOR BUSSINES WITH NAKAMATSU .

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER FROM

    DEAR NAKAMATSU IM WANT IN JAPAN AND SALE MORE PATENT FOR BIG JAPAN TOGETHER NAKAMATSU. ADRESS LIEPAJA LATVIA CHURCH NEW GENERATION.

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER FROM

    DEAR NAKAMATSU IM GIVE YOU PART MY WORK FOR SALE IN JAPAN.SERGEJ

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! VERY ASK YOU! WORK WITH IM > TOURIST KOMPLEX<TOOTH MIXER<MATRESS RELAX AND MORE OTHER FOR JAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER LIEPAJA LATVIA CHURCH ""NEW GENERATION""

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    TOURIST KOMPLEXTOOTH MIXER MORE OTHER FOR JAPAN.GOD BLESS YOU! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER LIEPAJA LATVIA

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! WANT HELP RESEIVE MORE PATENT FOR JAPAN! DIAMEND KOMPLEX. SERGEJ LEVCENKO. forgalina@inbox.lv

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS ! WANT FIND MORE NEW WORK FOR JAPAN AND MAKE GIFT YOU! SERGEJ LEVCENKO BIG INVENTER LATVIA. forgalina@inbox.lv God bless you!

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS!THANKS FOR YOU WORK IT VERY BIG TALANT! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS ! BIG HOW DOYOU DO FROM ALEXEI LEDYEV APOSTOL NEW GENERATION CHURH RIGA LATVIA

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! CAN MAKE ME VISA FOR VISIT JAPAN! IM WANT DOING OPERATION IN TOKIO AND SALE MORE WORK IN YOU COUNTRY .SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER FROM LATVIA

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! WISH YOU MORE HEALTH AND MORE INVENTION FOR JAPAN AND OTHER! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! MORE WORK WANT MAKE TOGETHER AND

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! VERY BIG POSSIBLE TRY MAKE VISA FOR FLY JAPAN! GOD BLESS YOU! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER LIEPAJA LATVIA! forgalina@inbox.lv

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATS! IM WANT SALE TOUTIST KOMPLEX TOOTH MIXER MATRESS RELAX IN YAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER LIEPAJA LATVIA forgalina@ inbox.lv

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATS! WANT COME IN JAPAN FOR APOSTOL ALEXEI LEDYEV AND MAKE TOGETHER WORK SOON! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATSU HELP MAKE ME VISA FOR VISIT JAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO CHURCH NEW GENERATION RIGA LATVIA

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATSU! WISH HELP WIH SALE MORE PATENT ME IN YAPAN AND COME IN AMERICA>SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER LIEPAJ LATVIA! forgalina@inbox.lv

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATSU ! WISH YOU MORE HEALTH IN JAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO BIG INVENTER LATVIA!

  • sergej levcenko

    MATRESS RELAX TOOTH MIXER TOURIST KOMPLEX AND MORE MORE OTHER WORK IN JAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER FROM LIEPAJA LATVIA>forgalina@inbox.lv

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATS! HOW DO YOU DO FROM APOSTOL ALEKSEY LEDYEVA CHUCH NEW GENERATION> SERGEJ LEVCENKO forgalina@inbox.lv

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATSU ! WISH MORE GIFT YOU~SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATS ! HELP WITH VISA IN YAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO > GOD BLESS YOU!

  • sergej levcenko

    DEAR NAKAMATS! WANT WORK TOGETHER I MONTH! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • sergej levcenko

    MATRESS RELAX FOR BIG KONTRAKT IN TOKIO! SERGEJ LEVCENKO INVENTER LIEPAJA LATVIA.forgalina@inbox.lv

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS ! IM WANT COME IN JAPAN FOR OPERATION ON MY BODY ! IM HAVE
    MORE PATENT O N MASS DEMAND>

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS ! IM WANT KNOW MORE ABOUT NEW WORK I JAPAN! SERGEJ LEVCENKO>INVENTER LIEPAJA LATVIA

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS ! THANKS FOR BIG PASTENT FOR MORE PEOPLE! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! THANKS THAT YOU CAN FIND NEW PATENT! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! IM VERY GLAD ABOUT JAPAN TEHNOLOG YOUR WORK! MORE GIFT! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! ROOM “”VASILIY”" IT BIG WORK FOR JAPAN IM THINK STRONGLY!

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! THANKS FOR LIFE IN PATENT FOR PEOPLE IN LATVIA! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    DEAR NAKAMATS! MORE YEAR IM THINK ABOUT HONEST WORK! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    MY HIGH SCOOL IT MASTER WITH BIG lOVE ! SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • SERGEJ LEVCENKO

    IM WISH GOOD RELATION WITH MORE PARTNERS IN TOKYO . SERGEJ LEVCENKO

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    THIS HAS BECOME WEIRD COMMENT NIRVANA.

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    Yuuuuuuuuuuuuup

  • Chef D

    Anyone know where to purchase his curry products???

  • Love Jet

    And for anyone who is interested in Dr. Nakamats’ stuff like “Love Jet” can visit here: http://www.lovejet.biz

  • tomas rader

    2nd that. Worried about my weight impression not actual weight. Dr. says blood work excellent. Fat asses in US dieting while I’m waiting for that we can help u gain wt. ad. Wish I could patent and sell my metabolism. one good meal a day .. no FFood … caffeine 12 fl. oz … great DNA to research of uber mensch possibility. Plenty of ‘what’s ur secret’ requests. Dr. will put me on whey or protein shacks paid for by VA but only if my self esteem is bruised.

  • Laura Phares-Wilson

    The Tesla Society in Colorado Springs hosted a reception for Dr. Nakamats about 4 years ago and we were thrilled to have him.