Yoshiro Nakamatsu

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Yoshiro Nakamatsu
Nakamatsu in 2010
Born (1928-06-26) June 26, 1928 (age 94)
Other names Dr. NakaMats
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo
Known forhaving more than 3,500 patents
Japanese name
Kanji 義郎
Kanaなかまつ よしろう
RomanizationNakamatsu Yoshirō
Yoshiro Nakamatsu signature.png

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. He regularly appears on Japanese talk shows demonstrating his inventions.

Creative process[edit]

In interviews, Nakamatsu has described his "creativity process", which includes listening to music and concludes with diving underwater, where he says he comes up with his best ideas. He then records them while underwater.[1][2] Nakamatsu claims to benefit from lack of oxygen to the brain during his dives, making inventions "0.05 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.[3] He also 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". He predicts that he will live until the age of 144.[4]


Nakamatsu in the 1950s

Nakamatsu is a prolific inventor, and he even claims to hold the world record for number of over 3,200 "inventions".[5] While his claim to a "world record" has been described as a record for patents by several media articles,[6][1] several other sources do not list Nakamatsu among the world's most prolific inventors[7][8][9][10] (he has 6 patent families).[11]

Among Nakamatsu's 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. His patented inventions include:

  • Juusyoku Record (or "Jūshoku Record") (重色レコード, stacked color record / dual color record) - An optical sound media which uses printed paper sheet instead of transparent film (1952)[12]
  • "Magnetic record sheet" - "a method for forming signal record track comprising a number of spiral signal track loops ..." (1964)[13]
  • "Enerex" - System for generating hydrogen and oxygen
  • "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]
  • A protective envelope for floppy disk (1975-1983),[17] and a head-cleaning floppy disk (1981-1988)[18]
  • A CD for supposedly "enhancing brightness or sexual function"[19]
  • A cigarette-like device for supposedly "activating the brain"[20]
  • A pillow preventing falling asleep while driving (an air compressor strapped to the cars headrest, forcibly feeding air to the driver)[21]
  • A peephole in a sheet of material, described as a "oneway visible shielding object"[22]
  • Spectacles in the shape of eyes, so that the user appears to wear no spectacles[23]
  • A "wig for self defense" — a strip and a weight are attached to a wig. The wearer swings the wig to hit an attacker.[24]
  • 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".[25]

Floppy disk[edit]

Animated diagram of Juusyoku Record, with which Nakamatsu claims invention of the floppy disk

Upon the basis of the Juusyoku Record patent issued in 1952, Nakamatsu claims to have invented the first floppy disk[3] well before IBM's floppy disk patent was filed in 1969.[26] However, what Nakamatsu patented in 1952 was a paper for optical sound player.[12] In contrast to a floppy disk, this Nakamatsu patent discloses the use of printed paper for storage instead of the magnetic material of a floppy disk. It is not rewritable and lacks most elements of the IBM floppy disk patent. Since the paper was 'floppy' material, he claims he had invented the floppy disk (sometimes he uses the phrase "floppy media"); however, flexible magnetic recording media was well known prior to 1952, in tape and wire recording.

Nakamatsu claims IBM reached licensing agreements with him in the late 1970s.[3][27] He also claims to have licensed his floppy disk to IBM in 1979,[28] but that the details are "confidential".[6] An IBM spokesman, Mac Jeffery, confirmed that the company did license some of his patents, but said that they were not for the floppy disk, which he said IBM invented on its own.[28] Another IBM spokesman, Brian Doyle, said they licensed 14 patents from Nakamatsu, but also claimed that they do not have anything to do with the floppy disk.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Nakamatsu is 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. He studied engineering at the University of Tokyo.[3] He has three children.[3]

In June 2014, Nakamatsu, who has contended that it should be possible for people to reach 144 years of age 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.[30] In September 2015, Nakamatsu appeared at the awards ceremony for the Ig Nobel prizes, where he performed a song about his medical condition.[31]

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.[32] Since 1995 he has unsuccessfully campaigned multiple times to be elected Governor of Tokyo, most recently in the 2014 election.[25][33][34] 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.[35][36]

Media coverage and recognition[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, and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.[1] 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. In 2009, Danish filmmaker Kaspar Astrup Schröder made a humorous documentary about Nakamatsu titled The Invention of Dr. NakaMats.[37][38] In 2010, Nakamatsu claimed he had been granted an honorary title by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta,[39] and introduces himself as Sir Dr. NakaMats,[40] although his claim has been denied by a representative of the order.[40]

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." in 2016, Nakamatsu was awarded the first Museum 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 Alley in New York City, was planned in conjunction with the museum's exhibition of various inventions and personal artifacts of Nakamatsu.[41]

In 2019, Nakamatsu was featured in a mini-documentary by popular YouTube channel Great Big Story,[42] in which Nakamatsu discussed some of his successful inventions and demonstrated his creative process. As of December 12, 2020, it had more than 4.2 million views.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "An interview with Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu". Pingmag.jp.
  3. ^ a b c d e Lidz, Franz (December 2012). "Dr. NakaMats, the Man With 3300 Patents to His Name". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  4. ^ Ian Grayson (May 8, 2006). "'NakaMats': Creative mind is the key". CNN. Retrieved February 11, 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.
  5. ^ "/ Dr.nakamatsuprofile". Dr.nakamats.com. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  6. ^ 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 December 21, 2010.
  7. ^ "Man-Made Marvels". Time Magazine. December 4, 2000. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006.
  8. ^ "You really can find identities of top patent holders". USA Today. December 13, 2005.
  9. ^ "Masters of invention". Portfolio.com. October 15, 2007.
  10. ^ "The Ten Greatest Inventors In The Modern Era". Businessinsider.com. May 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "USPTO Patent Full Text and Database : Nakamatsu-Yoshiro OR Yoshiro-Nakamatsu: 6 patents". Patft.uspto.gov. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Patent S27-001322 (Japanese)
  13. ^ Magnetic record sheet, Patent US3131937
  14. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Archived from the original on July 16, 2012.
  15. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  16. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Archived from the original on January 22, 2013.
  17. ^ JPS5856170 (Japanese)
  18. ^ JPS6346882 (Japanese), Patent US4490765 - Diskette for cleaning a floppy-disc drive head - Google Patents
  19. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  20. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  21. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Archived from the original on July 28, 2012.
  22. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  23. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  24. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". V3.espacenet.com. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Magnetic record disk cover".
  27. ^ Hornyak, Tim (January 2002). "Dr. NakaMats: Japan's Self-Proclaimed Savior". Japan Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  28. ^ a b Barron, James (November 11, 1990). "What a Stroke of ... Um, Ingenuity, Anyhow". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  29. ^ LLC, Sussex Publishers (December 28, 1991). "Spy". Sussex Publishers, LLC – via Google Books.
  30. ^ "Inventor Nakamatsu reveals he has terminal cancer". Japan Times. June 27, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ "Japan's inventor supreme shares the secret of 3,218 successes". Japan Times. July 25, 2004. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  33. ^ "Fujimori, Ainu, lesbian, inventor and Tojo's granddaughter all defeated in election". Japannewsreview.com. July 30, 2007. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  34. ^ "Cabbie, dilettante and prolific inventor in fray to lead Tokyo - Yahoo! News". Archived from the original on April 9, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  35. ^ Chapman, Lee (July 15, 2013). "Yoshiro Nakamatsu (Dr. NakaMats) on the campaign trail in Tokyo". Tokyo Times. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  36. ^ Joyce, Andrew (June 30, 2010). "Japanese Politics — The Unusual Suspects". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  37. ^ Fornoff, Alexa (March 2, 2010). "True/False: What's Behind 'The Invention of Dr. NakaMats'". ReadyMade (blog). Archived from the original on October 25, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  38. ^ "OPFINDELSEN AF DR. NAKAMATS / THE INVENTION OF DR. NAKAMATS". Dfi.dk. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  39. ^ http://dr-nakamats.com/nakamats_g/n_wun212.html (Japanese)
  40. ^ a b Magazine, Smithsonian; Lidz, Franz. "Dr. NakaMats, the Man With 3300 Patents to His Name". Smithsonian Magazine.
  41. ^ "Mmuseumm: Last Night Was Real". Mmuseumm. Mmuseumm. September 24, 2016. Archived from the original on September 26, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  42. ^ "Japan's Master Inventor Has Over 3,500 Patents". YouTube. Retrieved March 24, 2019.

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