Vending Machine Dress (among others)

Japanese Vending Machine Dress (Street)
If you noticed something isn’t quite right about the vending machine above, don’t worry, you don’t need to check your eyesight. Yes, the right-most vending machine does look particularly fishy – wait a minute: is that a person wearing a vending machine suit? Has Halloween come to Japan in a weird manifestation?

In what appears to be stranger than fiction, New York Times carried an article with the title ‘Fearing Crime, Japanese wear the Hiding Place‘.

Deftly, Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine.

I’m sure the headline was really just a sensationalist garb – it attempts to suggest that this is already a mainstream practice rather than simply a concept or a chindogu by a designer in Japan. But nonetheless, the ‘WTF’ quotient is really high on this one. Check how it transforms:

Japanese Vending Machine Dress

Japanese Vending Machine Dress2

There are also other manifestations – a bag that transforms into a manhole cover so that people would walk past and not notice it; another bag for children that attempts to turn the child into an unsuspecting fire hydrant. These concepts are certainly amusing, but there is a greater cultural spirit and meaning behind:

But the devices’ creators also argue that Japan’s ideas about crime prevention are a product of deeper cultural differences. While Americans want to protect themselves from criminals, or even strike back, the creators say many Japanese favor camouflage and deception, reflecting a culture that abhors self-assertion, even in self-defense.

Perhaps it is this culture of invention-tolerance, no matter how idiosyncratic or bizarre, that facilitated Japan’s contribution to the world’s other (arguably more usefuly) innovations and inventions. It’s again of those moments – ‘it could only be Japan!’.


5 comments so far

  1. Krystina on

    How do I get one?

  2. Anonymous on

    this turns me on

  3. marty on

    this turns me on

  4. jeff on

    it’s only a matter of time before these things start turning up in strip clubs

  5. Anonymous on

    im gonna sneak into a cinema in one

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