The New York Times reports on an interesting fashion trend happening in Tokyo: Clothing which transforms into crime prevention disguises. There’s a skirt which unfolds into a Coca-Cola vending machine so you can hide from would-be robbers. Bags disguised as manholes that you can throw to the ground if you were to be approached by would-be muggers. And a line of knife-proof school uniform.

It’s not that crime is soaring in Tokyo. Not at all. But rather a micro-example of Japanese inventiveness, and “a fondness for Oddball Ideas.” The Japanese word for this is “Chindogu,” or “Queer Tools.” And even if these inventions are funny and seemingly impractical, Kenji Kawakami (The Rube Goldberg of Japan) has this to say:

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