In Japan, April 18 is known as Invention Day. It was established in 1954 by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan and has been celebrated each year ever since.
Invention Day in Japan marks the anniversary of the Patent Monopoly Act that established the first substantial patent law in Japan. It was passed on April 18, 1885. A little less than three months later, the first seven patents were granted. The first Japanese patent was obtained by Hotta Zuisho who invented an anticorrosive paint.
- DVD (an abbreviation of "digital versatile disc" or "digital video disc") is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995.
- Walkman is a Sony brand tradename originally used for portable audio cassette/tape players in the late 1970s. The prototype was built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka. The names "Walkman", "Pressman", "Watchman", "Scoopman", "Discman", and "Talkman" are trademarks of Sony, and have been applied to a wide range of portable entertainment devices manufactured by the company.
- A video tape recorder (VTR) is a tape recorder designed to record video material on magnetic tape. The first video tape recorder, using helical scan, was developed by Dr. Norikazu Sawazaki in 1953.
- The Casio Computer Company, in Japan, released the Model 14-A calculator in 1957, which was the world's first all-electric (relatively) compact calculator. It did not use electronic logic but was based on relay technology, and was built into a desk.
- Instant noodles were invented by Momofuku Ando (born Go Pek-Hok) of Nissin Foods in Japan. They were launched in 1958 under the brand name Chikin Ramen. In 1971, Nissin introduced Cup Noodles, a dried noodle block in a polystyrene cup (It is referred to as Cup Ramen in Japan). Instant noodles are marketed worldwide under many brand names.
- In 1945, the Japanese Mitsubishi Electric Corporation was the first company to produce an electric commercial rice cooker. The Mitsubishi product was an aluminium pot with a heating coil inside. It had no automatic turn-off facility, and it required constant monitoring during cooking.
- Before the Hikari No. 1 was launched in October 1964, travelling by train between Tokyo and Osaka – Japan’s two largest cities – would take the best part of a working day. But with a top speed of 210 kph, the world’s first bullet train reduced the journey to 4 hours. Today, thanks to further technological developments, the trip takes just over 2 hours, soon to be reduced to around an hour.
- In the early 1990s, three Japanese scientists – Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura – set off a lighting revolution when they managed to produce blue LED light from their semi-conductors. The discovery paved the way for energy-efficient TV, mobile and computer screens, and power-saving lightbulbs. It has been described as having the potential to revolutionize the 21st century, and the three scientists were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics.
- In 2003, researchers from The Intelligent Robotics Lab at Osaka University unveiled the DER 01, the first all-talking, blinking and breathing, human-like robot.
- The Tamagotchi (たまごっち?) [ta̠ma̠ɡ̃o̞t͡ɕːi̥] is a handheld digital pet, created in Japan by Akihiro Yokoi (ja) of WiZ and Aki Maita of Bandai. It was released by Bandai on November 23, 1996 in Japan and May 1997 in the rest of the world, quickly becoming one of the biggest toy fads of the 1990s and early 2000s. As of 2010, over 76 million Tamagotchis have been sold world-wide. Most Tamagotchi are housed in a small egg-shaped computer with an interface usually consisting of three buttons, although the number of buttons may vary. According to Bandai, the name is a portmanteau combining the Japanese word tamago (たまご?), which means "egg", and the English word "watch". Consequently, the name is sometimes romanized as "Tamagotch" without the "i" in Japan. Most Tamagotchi characters' names end in tchi (っち?) in Japanese, with few exceptions.
- Released in 1969, the Seiko Astron was the world’s first quartz wristwatch. Quartz technology was a considerable upgrade over its mechanical watch predecessors, because it eliminated the need for easily damaged moving parts, while keeping time much more accurately. It is powered by and electronic circuit that produces a repetitive electronic signal that is regulated by a small quartz crystal to keep time. To this day, Quartz remains the standard for wristwatches and clocks.
- The first consumer available flat-panel display of any kind was found on the Sony Watchman FD-210, a pocket television launched in 1982. The FD-210′s display was a measly five centimeters, but the technology involved in its production was impressive for the time and carved the way for the home television and computer flatscreens we see today. The first LCD and Plasma televisions were also created by Japanese companies – Sharp and Pioneer.