Marina Fujiwara doesn’t just publish her wasted creations on YouTube – she’s also active on Twitter and Instagram. Her YouTube subscribers are made up almost entirely of a Japanese audience, but nearly 90% of her 60,000 Instagram followers are from other countries all over the world. She also regularly posts on a popular video website in China, where she has amassed over 10,000 followers. She’s been able to gather a large following of fans both online and in real life. In 2018, she attended an exhibition in Taiwan that attracted over 25,000 attendees.
The same inventions had different reactions and responses depending on the audience, according to Fujiwara. “I think overseas the most popular creations have been the ones that don’t really have a context behind them. For most Japanese viewers on Twitter, creations where they understand the context of why this useless invention was created tend to be more well-received. On Instagram, where my audience is mostly overseas, creations that don’t have any context and are presented as simple useless inventions tend to get the most laughs,” Fujiwara explained.
Whether it’s in Japan or overseas, Fujiwara notes that the responses she receives become her motivation to keep on creating. “I’m really happy to receive the responses that I do,” she said.
Fujiwara’s inventions thus far have mostly consisted of real, tangible objects, but in the future she is planning to create a useless website as well as a useless mobile app. Armed with plenty of ambition, her plans to continue creating are just beginning. “Now that I have a 3D printer, I hope to make some useless inventions that have a higher quality,” she mentioned.
Fujiwara has also been approached by people that were interested in applying for the INNO-vation Program, but not entirely sure on what would be a good fit for it. Whenever she’s asked about the program, she gives an honest answer that comes from her own experience.
“People often tend to take the parts of themselves they think are weird or strange and hide them away, pretending that those characteristics aren’t their true selves. I think that presenting the weird parts of yourself just as they are could turn out to be the exact treasure that the Program Supervisors are looking for. That’s what’s so great about the INNO-vation Program. One thing I really remember from my time in the program is that I thought I had to make a certain appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs & Communications about how these wasteful creations could be useful to society, since the program is under their jurisdiction. To my surprise, I actually stunned them a bit by presenting it that way, and they told me I didn’t have to base my work on any stipulations like that. They never required me to hide who I was in order to be accepted. They allowed me to continue what I was doing while staying true to myself,” Fujiwara said.
Marina Fujiwara plans to continue to create her useless inventions as she envisions them, without being hindered by how they can be useful to society. Her unique, out-of-the-box inventions and the laughter they bring perhaps mark the beginning of a new way to touch the hearts of people across the globe.