Saturday, October 20, 2007

Urban Camouflage Is The #1 Reason To Love The Japanese

As Crazy As It Sounds, Urban Camouflage Has Its Merrits

The Japanese's fascination with all things weird is well documented, and the newest addition to the list is urban camouflage Japanese style.

Urban camouflage has been around for a few years, but there is an article in the New York Times that has made Americans aware of the trend. The wearable vending machine and the fire hydrant are meant as a deterrent against crime. The idea behind them is that if you are in a bad neighborhood, and you see someone coming and you don't feel safe, you can just take your skirt and turn it into a vending machine look-alike and cover yourself and fool the possible perpetrator. This quote is from the NYT article:

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.

“It is just easier for Japanese to hide,” Ms. Tsukioka said. “Making a scene would be too embarrassing.” She said her vending machine disguise was inspired by a trick used by the ancient ninja, who cloaked themselves in black blankets at night."

Most Americans who have commented on this type of fashion were mocking it; but I am not so sure that the idea is that crazy. It could work and I have some videos that shows that urban camouflage is, indeed, a viable idea. The Japanese are not afraid to experiment with ideas and that is why they are so good at coming up with innovative inventions. Americans like to play it safe. Kudos to the Japanese for not being afraid to think of outrageous designs that may be ahead of their time.

Watch urban camouflage in action HERE

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