Yoshiro Nakamatsu

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Yoshiro Nakamatsu
Yoshiro Nakamatsu, May 2010
Born June 26, 1928 (1928-06-26) (age 88)
Residence Japan
Nationality Japanese
Other names Dr. NakaMats
Occupation inventor

Yoshiro Nakamatsu (中松 義郎 Nakamatsu Yoshirō?, born June 26, 1928), also known as Dr. NakaMats (ドクター中松 Dokutā Nakamatsu?), is a Japanese inventor who has become a minor celebrity for his inventions. He regularly appears on Japanese talk shows which, in conjunction with his appearance, usually craft a humorous segment based on one or more of his inventions.

He is a prolific inventor, and he even claims to hold the world record for number of inventions with over 4,000 patents.[1] While this claim has been mentioned in several media articles,[2][3] several other sources do not list Nakamatsu among the world's most prolific inventors[4][5][6][7] (he has 6 patent families).[8] Nakamatsu was the subject of the 2009 documentary The Invention of Dr NakaMats.[9]

Nakamatsu creativity process[edit]

In his interviews, Nakamatsu described his "creativity process", which includes listening to music and concludes with diving underwater, where he says he comes up with his best ideas and records them while underwater.[3][10] Nakamatsu claims to benefit from lack of oxygen to the brain during his dives, making inventions "0.5 seconds before death." He also claims that his "Calm Room," a bathroom constructed without nails and tiled in 24-karat gold, encourages creative thinking by blocking television and radio waves.[11] Nakamatsu has an elevator in his house that he claims helps him think better, although he strictly denies that it is an elevator and describes it as a "vertical moving room". Nakamatsu predicts that he will live until the age of 144.[12]


Nakamatsu's patented inventions include:

  • "Enerex" System for generating hydrogen and oxygen[13]
  • "PyonPyon" jumping shoes with leaf springs on their soles[14]
  • "Cerebrex" armchair, a chair that supposedly improves mental function such as calculation and thinking by cooling the head and heating the feet
  • A toilet seat lifter[15]
  • A condom with an embedded magnet, supposedly "improving sensitivity" as "electricity is generated in the blood vessels in the female organs by Fleming's left-hand rule"[16]
  • Protective envelopes for floppy disks, and head-cleaning floppy disk[17]
  • A CD for supposedly "enhancing brightness or sexual function"[18]
  • A cigarette-like device for supposedly "activating the brain"[19]
  • A pillow preventing falling asleep while driving (an air compressor strapped to the cars headrest, forcibly feeding air to the driver)[20]
  • A peephole in a sheet of material, described as a "oneway visible shielding object"[21]
  • Spectacles in the shape of eyes, so that the user appears to wear no spectacles[22]
  • A "wig for self defense" — a strip and a weight are attached to a wig. The wearer swings the wig to hit an attacker.[23]

It should be noted that patents (these or any other) do not mean that the devices actually work. Patent offices grant patents without checking that the patented device works. While a patent is usually invalid if the patented device or process does not work, this is typically only determined if the patent is challenged (which is not normally done unless the patent holder sues an alleged patent infringer).

Nakamatsu has gained much of his fame from his claim to have invented the floppy disk in 1952. He claims to have licensed his floppy disk patents to IBM Corporation in 1979, but that the details are confidential.[2] An IBM spokesman, Mac Jeffery, said that the company does license some of his patents, but not for the floppy disk, which they invented on their own.[24] IBM reached licensing agreements with Nakamatsu in the late 1970s.[11][25]

Nakamatsu is also the inventor of Love Jet, a sexual enhancement product which he created out of concern about Japan's declining birthrate. In a 1995 interview, he explained that the purpose of the aphrodisiac was "to save Japan".[26]

Personal life[edit]

Nakamatsu was the son of Hajime Nakamatsu, a banker, and Yoshino Nakamatsu, a teacher who provided early tutoring in mathematics and science and encouraged him to begin inventing. Among his early inventions is the Shoyu Churu Churu, a siphon pump used in the home to move soy sauce from large containers to smaller vessels for cooking and serving. He studied engineering at the University of Tokyo.[11]

He had three children.[11]

In June 2014, Nakamatsu, who has contended that it should be possible for people to live 144 years by taking care of their health, revealed that he is suffering from prostate cancer and that his doctors did not expect him to live past the end of 2015. He has sought a new treatment for the disease.[27] In September 2015, Nakamatsu appeared at the awards ceremony for the Ig Nobel prizes, where he performed a song about his medical condition.[28]

Political aspirations[edit]

Nakamatsu is a perennial political candidate. In 2004 he told the Japan Times that "politics is a part of inventions," explaining that it is an "invisible invention" along the lines of concepts such as education and happiness.[29] Since 1995 he has unsuccessfully campaigned multiple times to be elected Governor of Tokyo, most recently in the 2014 election.[26][30][31] He has also campaigned unsuccessfully for election to the House of Councillors, the upper house of the National Diet. In 2010 and 2013 he ran as a candidate of the Happiness Realization Party.[32][33]

Media coverage[edit]

Nakamatsu has appeared on several American TV shows, including Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Late Night with David Letterman, CNN's Make, Create, Innovate, even Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.[3] He also appeared on the BBC show Adam and Joe Go Tokyo and the BBC radio show Jon Ronson On...

In 2005, Nakamatsu was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize (a parody of the Nobel Prize) for Nutrition, for photographing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting).

In 2009, Danish filmmaker Kaspar Astrup Schröder made a humorous documentary about Nakamatsu titled The Invention of Dr. NakaMats.[9][34]

In 2013, Nakamatsu was featured on the Sky 1 programme, The Moaning of Life, where Karl Pilkington travels the world to see how people face up to life's biggest issues.

In 2015, Full Metal Breakfast released a song called "Dr. NakaMats."

On 2016, Nakamatsu was awarded the first Mmuseumm Lifetime Visionary Award "in recognition of a uniquely decorated life dedicated to the pursuit of that which we do not yet know" during a celebration of his 88th birthday. The ceremony, held in Cortlandt Aly in New York City, was planned in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition of various inventions and personal artifacts of Nakamatsu.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "/ Dr.nakamatsuprofile". Dr.nakamats.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  2. ^ a b Lazarus, David (April 10, 1995). "'Japan's Edison' Is Country's Gadget King : Japanese Inventor Holds Record for Patent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  3. ^ a b c Thompson, Charles ("Chic"). "The Edison of Japan: An Interview with Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats". Archived from the original on March 30, 2012.  First published in Thomson's book What a Great Idea!: The Key Steps Creative People Take, Perennial (HarperCollins), 1992. ISBN 0-06-096901-6.
  4. ^ "Man-Made Marvels". Time Magazine. December 4, 2000. 
  5. ^ "You really can find identities of top patent holders". USA Today. December 13, 2005. 
  6. ^ "Masters of invention". Portfolio.com. October 15, 2007. 
  7. ^ "The Ten Greatest Inventors In The Modern Era". Businessinsider.com. 6 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "USPTO Patent Full Text and Database : Nakamatsu-Yoshiro OR Yoshiro-Nakamatsu: 6 patents". Patft.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  9. ^ a b Fornoff, Alexa (March 2, 2010). "True/False: What's Behind 'The Invention of Dr. NakaMats'". ReadyMade (blog). Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  10. ^ "An interview with Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu". Pingmag.jp. 
  11. ^ a b c d Lidz, Franz (December 2012). "Dr. NakaMats, the Man With 3300 Patents to His Name". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ Ian Grayson (8 May 2006). "'NakaMats': Creative mind is the key". CNN. Retrieved 11 February 2017. He sleeps for just four hours each day, and maintains a strict dietary regime that incorporates a single meal of just 700 calories. As well as stimulating his brain, he believes this approach will allow him to continue living until the age of 144. 
  13. ^ "System for generating hydrogen and oxygen - Patent # 5399251". PatentGenius.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ "Espacenet - results view". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  18. ^ [4][dead link]
  19. ^ [5][dead link]
  20. ^ [6][dead link]
  21. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  22. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  23. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  24. ^ Barron, James (Nov 11, 1990). "What a Stroke of ... Um, Ingenuity, Anyhow". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  25. ^ Hornyak, Tim (January 2002). "Dr. NakaMats: Japan's Self-Proclaimed Savior". Japan Inc. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  26. ^ a b Lazarus, David (April 10, 1995). "'Japan's Edison' Is Country's Gadget King : Japanese Inventor Holds Record for Patent". New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Inventor Nakamatsu reveals he has terminal cancer". Japan Times. June 27, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Huh? Kissing nothing to sneeze at? Osaka doctor's allergy relief study bags Ig Nobel award". Japan Times. September 18, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Japan's inventor supreme shares the secret of 3,218 successes". Japan Times. July 25, 2004. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Fujimori, Ainu, lesbian, inventor and Tojo's granddaughter all defeated in election". Japannewsreview.com. 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 9, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  32. ^ Chapman, Lee (July 15, 2013). "Yoshiro Nakamatsu (Dr. NakaMats) on the campaign trail in Tokyo". Tokyo Times. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  33. ^ Joyce, Andrew (June 30, 2010). "Japanese Politics — The Unusual Suspects". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  34. ^ "OPFINDELSEN AF DR. NAKAMATS / THE INVENTION OF DR. NAKAMATS". Dfi.dk. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  35. ^ "Mmuseumm: Last Night Was Real". Mmuseumm. Mmuseumm. 2016-09-24. Archived from the original on 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 

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