The unique ideas and research selected for the INNO-vation Program are generally created with a sense of practicality. These ideas are often seen as having a potentially important use in society. 2019 Disruptive Challenger Marina Fujiwara on the other hand purposefully pursues the idea of “creating the useless”. Her YouTube channel Wasted Creation was selected for the program with the overall theme of breathing life into even more useless ideas.
The Table Flip Machine,The Money-Slapping Machine, Finger Over Lens Machine, and The Online Meeting Cat Tail Machine are just some of the examples of incredibly strange videos posted on the channel. Merely looking at the titles can clue one in on just how disconnected from practicality these inventions are. For Fujiwara, it’s simply an expression of her sense of humor and view on how people live their lives.
Fujiwara continues to actively produce content over her multiple social media accounts. She’s amassed over 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 60,000 followers on Instagram. Her beginnings, however, were filled with setbacks.
In her early years, Fujiwara was the kind of kid who loved drawing pictures and making crafts. When she was in elementary school, one of her teachers told her to give it her all and try to invent something new. As she went on to middle and high school, her inventing endeavors got off to a rocky start. The quality of her inventions was lacking, and she began to think she would be regarded as a failure if it continued down that path. “I really liked art, but there’s a tendency among people to think that people who aren’t good at it shouldn’t do it at all. That was a bit of a setback for me,” Fujiwara explained.
“I want to do something fun,” Fujiwara thought, so she made a complete turn from the world of art and joined NSC (Yoshimoto New Star Creation comedy school) to work toward becoming an entertainer. It wasn’t long before she came to the realization that she wasn’t fit for the stage life, either.
From there, she decided to try her hand at YouTube. She had noticed that all sorts of people were uploading videos online and getting attention on the platform, so she started her own YouTube channel.
The first thing she made was a Rube Goldberg machine that used the inertia of a metal ball to pass soy sauce on a table into the users hand. The machine was incredibly simplistic and wasn’t put together very well. “The fact that it wasn’t made well in itself was really funny I thought. That’s when I started to make more of these wasted creations,” Fujiwara said.
Fujiwara started by identifying problems and unmet needs that arose from societal and everyday stress. She would then try to solve those problems in her own unique way, create videos based around them, and upload them to YouTube. “Once I did that, more people started commenting that the videos were funny, and I started getting a lot more viewers as well. I found out that there were people out there who wanted to watch videos like this,” Fujiwara said. She then started creating more and more wasted creations and earned her spot as a rising YouTube star. Despite her newfound success, there was still some part of Fujiwara that wasn’t yet satisfied.
In part 2, we’ll ask Fujiwara about her path to applying to the INNO-vation Program.
Part 2 coming May 2nd, 2022