Having just lost in his fourth attempt to become Governor of Tokyo, famous inventor Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu was undaunted and said he would run up to 16 more times if necessary. He also said he did not believe age would be a factor in any of these future campaigns, although he is already 78 and the elections take place only every four years. "I’m going to live to 144," he said, "so I’m still only middle-aged. I can run for Tokyo governor 16 more times."
According to reports, Dr. Nakamatsu is a prolific and eccentric inventor who claims to have over 3,000 patents (that loser Edison had fewer than 1,100), including early versions of the floppy disk, the digital watch, aircraft landing gear, and something called the "Love Jet" that I frankly didn’t look into too closely. He believes that his lifestyle, which involves only 4 hours of sleep and 700 calories per day, will allow him and anyone who adopts it to live to the age of 144, which explains his claim above.
At a press conference in March, Nakamatsu said that if elected, he would (1) cut taxes and (2) "protect Tokyo from attack by [means of] an invention that will make missiles turn around." He did not give any details as to how his missile repeller works, but coming from the inventor of the PyonPyon spring-loaded shoe and the Cerebrex brain-stimulating recliner, this is a claim that must be taken seriously.
Japanese voters ignored it, however, choosing instead to re-elect the incumbent, Shintaro Ishihara. Ishihara got 2.8 million votes, while Nakamatsu got just 85,946. Still, he was not discouraged and said that he would one day become governor, even if he had to run in every election during his expected 144-year lifespan. Victory was inevitable, he said, because at some point in the next 66 years, "all the others will die off, so I will be elected." It does not seem to have crossed his mind that younger candidates may get involved at some point.
After doing some research, I developed some doubts that Dr. Nakamatsu really exists. There are a few articles on him from fairly reputable sources, but few details, and some of the details I did find made this seem more like a hoax. For example, an article in Japan Inc. claimed that he was descended from an "ancient samurai family," that he spends hours underwater every day in his swimming pool "using a special breathing technique and jotting brainstorms down on a waterproof Plexiglas writing pad," and that he has written nearly 100 books, including one called "How to Become a Superman Lying Down." I certainly hoped this person existed, and that I, too, could become a superman without getting up off the couch, but found it a little hard to believe.
But a search of the U.S. Patent Office did reveal a number of patents that have actually been awarded to a "Yoshiro Nakamatsu," including:
- No. 4,987,896 (Apparatus for increasing the activity of the human brain);
- No. 4,407,226 (Device for manufacturing a magnetic recording medium);
- No. 4,259,550 (Acoustic device with floating vibrating means); and
- No. 4,215,860 (Golf club).
"Golf club" especially is one that you’d expect to have heard about, since this is not just any golf club, but one that allows "any unskilled golfer [to] play golf without taking unnatural attitudes," will prevent your ribs from fracturing due to the force of your swing, and "will minimize unfavorable effects to the internal organs of human body, or more particularly prevention of heart attack." How many more golfers have to die before Dr. Nakamatsu’s genius is taken seriously? Still, the six patents I found fall somewhat short of the 3,000 that he claims, although he could well have 2,994 patents in Japan that I just don’t know how to find.
I, for one, look forward to the day when all other candidates for governor have finally died, clearing the deck for Dr. Nakamatsu to become governor. And I should still be around to see it, since if I start his program today I will be around until 2109.