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Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats (pronounced “Nakamatsu”—he dropped the “u” because he believed eight letters were easier to remember than nine) has been inventing for most of his life — a life sometimes seems like it’s out of the pages of a children’s book. And at 91 years old, he’s invented enough new ideas to have three times more patents than Thomas Edison. Some of his 3,000-plus inventions include jumping shoes called “Pyon Pyon boots,” a chair known as the “Cerebrex” to enhance brain power, a golf club that pings every time you hit a ball, and a self-defense wig with a weight attached to strike a person.
Nakamats also claims to have invented the floppy disk almost two decades before IBM patented it. While IBM does claim it invented the floppy disk, Nakamats’ influence is still largely apparent, especially in Japan, where streets are named after him.
What’s more fantastical than his inventions are Nakamats’ inventing processes. He is always looking for what he calls “ikispiration,” which he says happens when he changes his scenery. Therefore, his home is filled with rooms and areas built straight out of a dream. His “Calm Room” is a bathroom constructed and tiled completely with 24-karat gold, which he says inspires creativity by blocking out television and radio waves. He spends a lot of time in his elevator (which he refers to only as a “vertical moving room”), which he claims helps him think better and more creatively. And Nakamats has even invented a waterproof notepad to allow him to sit underwater in his pool to come up with new ideas. He explains his best ideas come when he is sitting at his pool floor, seconds before death.
In 2014, Nakamats revealed that he had been struggling with prostate cancer, and his doctors believed he would not live past 2015. But years later, Nakamats is still inventing things and doesn’t believe he will ever stop. Born in 1928, he thinks it is possible for him (and all humans) to live until the age of 144, so we still have some time to see what other gadgets he will come up with.
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