What’s your secret guilty pleasure? Well, if you’re like eccentric public prosecutor Kuryu Kohei (Takuya Kimura) from Hero 2015 – the Japanese movie based on a TV series of the same name – it’s buying weird stuff off the infomercial channel.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. So many Japanese customers, like Kohei, buy these aidea shohin (idea products in Japanese) off infomercial channels that they’ve created a serious industry in the country.

While some of these Japanese inventions are bizarre, many are pure genius. Here’re six very useful things you never thought you needed but somehow just make sense:

1. Super umbrella

Super umbrella. (Credit: http://www.japan-talk.com)

Super umbrella. (Credit: www.japan-talk.com)

This is the perfect combination of umbrella and raincoat. Users will no longer have to contend with the hot, claustrophobic sensation of the pyjama-like waterproof coat, but enjoy much better coverage than a regular umbrella.

2. Ukihashi chopsticks

Ukihashi chopsticks. (Credit: http://www.japanesemoderndesign.com)

Ukihashi chopsticks. (Credit: http://www.japanesemoderndesign.com)

These are perfect for the typical Singapore office worker. The Ukihashi chopsticks is designed with a distinctive curve at the end where it touches food, enabling the user to easily place it on the dining table without it touching the surface. Brilliant for those hawker centre meals!

3. Fumin bed

Fumin bed. (Credit: http://www.bloomberg.com)

Fumin bed. (Credit: www.bloomberg.com)

Why didn’t we think of this? Those who live in places with winter use an electric blanket to keep warm when they sleep so why shouldn’t we use the opposite in perpetual summer? Produced by clothing maker Kuchofuku, the mattress has an in-built fan at its base and this sucks air through the bed.

4. Butter stick

Butter stick. (Credit: www.mirror.co.uk)

Butter stick. (Credit: www.mirror.co.uk)

This handy, lipstick-like applicator for butter is great for those who hate washing up – no need for a butter knife – or who love their butter so much that they have to bring it everywhere. Hey, if this type of applicator is good enough for the sunscreen we apply onto our skin, it sure is good enough for our toasts!

5. Scratch t-Shirt

Scratch T-shirt. (Credit: www.buzzfeed.com)

Scratch T-shirt. (Credit: www.buzzfeed.com)

Got a friend to scratch an itch (head out of the gutter, people!) on your back but he or she just can’t hit the spot? Well, make a game out of it, why don’t you?

6. Book pillow

Book pillow. (Credit: http://www.ripleys.com)

Book pillow. (Credit: www.ripleys.com)

Now, this one is especially useful for students. Impress your teacher or parent with a thick book while walking out the door to the library, then find a cosy corner desk and… zzz. The only way this pillow could be more useful would be to somehow upload real info into the user’s brain while they slept. Instead of buying textbooks, students would be buying textbook pillows and late-night cramming would be a bre -I mean, a snooze!

Hero poster. (Credit: Golden Village)

Hero poster. (Credit: Golden Village)

Going by the size of his eyebags, we could say that Kohei (Takuya) could really use that pillow in between court sessions (in between filming takes). In Hero 2015, his investigations into a seemingly innocuous accident outside a foreign embassy throws up evidence that the reason for the victim’s death is more than meets the eye. Will one of his infomercial buys be able to help him save the day?

To find out, catch the movie when it opens on Oct 8.