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Japanese inventions that changed the way we live

Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT) June 30, 2017
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Japan is a nation of inventors. But it hasn't just given us robots, laptops and reliable cars -- it also has a huge influence over popular culture. Here are just some of the Japanese inventions that have changed the way we live.

The Oxford Dictionaries named "selfie" as word of the year in 2013, but the selfie stick has in fact been around much longer. The date and place of the first selfie stick is a contentious issue, but the first patented selfie stick, originally called the "extender stick," was created in Japan by Hiroshi Ueda and Yujiro Mima in the 1980s.
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Karaoke has become a globally popular way for people to embarrass themselves in front of friends, strangers and work colleagues -- but the Japanese were doing it before anyone else. The first karaoke machine was invented in Japan in 1971, by a drummer called Daisuke Inoue, who plugged a tape player into an amplifier. It came about after a businessman asked Inoue to record on tape his favorite songs so that he could sing to them. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Shigetaku Kurita introduced emojis in the late 1990s on Japanese-made phones. Initially, emojis were not created for chit-chat text messaging, but for simple weather reports or business information for pagers. Emojis are now part of our everyday language and in 2015 Oxford Dictionaries named "the face with tears of joy" emoji as its word of the year. MOMA
The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car of all time. First coming to the market in 1966, it soon became popular globally because of its reliability and simplicity. Now, on its 10th-generation model, the Corolla has sold 44.1 million cars. YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
While Ramen is known globally as a Japanese dish it actually has its origins in China, when Chinese tradesmen brought over the soup in the 19th century. It soon became a staple food of the working class. But it was in 1958 that the first packaged modern Ramen, or "instant noodles" reached supermarket shelves. The soupy dish isn't just a national delicacy, it's also a culture. There are Ramen celebrities, museums and video games. Ben Bryant/Shutterstock
Nintendo has a surprisingly long history. Beginning in 1889, Fusajiro Yamuachi manufactured playing cards called "Hanafuda" (flower cards). In 1933 Nintendo was registered as an unlimited company and from the 1970s onwards Nintendo expanded into electronic games. The Game Boy, Nintendo 64 and Wii have been some of its most popular products.
The PlayStation 2 was released in Japan in 2000 by Sony. It is the best-selling home console of all time, with over 155 million units sold. Introduced six years after the Playstation 1, it has had over 3,800 game titles released since its launch. In 2012 Sony halted the long-running production of the console. Junko Kimura/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Sony's stereo cassette player, the "Walkman", changed the way we listen to music. It enabled people to listen to cassette tapes on the go. Sony announced the Walkman to the public in 1979 and after a month in Japanese stores it had sold out. It soon became popular worldwide, with the term "Walkman" becoming a byword for any portable tape player. Sony
Umami is one of the five tastes (along with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). A Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda discovered it in 1908. It is described as a meaty taste and it's prominent in foods such as Parmesan cheese, mushrooms and anchovies. Chicago Tribune/Getty Images
The square watermelon is an expensive decorative fruit in Japan, but it was actually created for more practical reasons. It was invented in 1978 by Tomoyuki Ono.
Sudoku is a puzzle game created by Maki Kaji (pictured) in 1984, which became a popular brain teaser worldwide. The aim of the game is to fill a 9x9 grid, so that each row, column and each 3x3 grid contains the numbers 1 to 9. AFP/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Video House System, or VHS, was released in Japan in 1976. It was incredibly innovative for its time, allowing TV viewers to record shows, making sure they never missed a moment. You could also buy or rent films on VHS to watch at home. Initially VHS had fierce competition from an alternative format called Betamax, which it eventually saw off, only to be replaced by the introduction of the DVD in 1996 (a collaboration between Japan's Sony and Dutch company Philips). KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Judo has its origins in the takenouchi-ryu martial art system founded in the 16th century. It is principally the art of either attacking or defending oneself using just the human body. Dr. Jigoro Kano is considered "The father of Judo" and in 1882 created the sport as we know it today. It became an official Olympic sport in 1964 at the Tokyo Games. Some 28 million people practice the sport worldwide. Japan gave the world karate, too. PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
"The Tale of Genji" is a Japanese story that is considered by many to be the first modern novel. It was written by a woman Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century and is about the life and romances of Prince Genji. KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
In 1955, electronics company Toshiba released Japan's first electric rice cooker. It was an instant success and became symbolic of prosperity for the working classes, before spreading internationally. keerati/Shutterstock
Shinkansen, or the bullet train, is a super-fast train with a top speed of 400km/h that connects Japan's cities across the country's challenging geography. The first passengers went aboard in 1964 on a journey between Tokyo and Osaka. It is the first and most traveled high-speed railway in the world. TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Food in Japan can look too good to be true, and often it is. Japan is the fake food capital of the world. In the early 20th century a businessman, Takizo Iwasaki, supposedly saw candle drippings on a table and became inspired to create lifelike food out of wax. Iwasaki sold his waxwork food models to restaurants which used them to advertise their meals. Fake food is now made from plastic and can be seen all over Japan, and beyond. TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Pokemon was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 and is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. It's a world in which humans catch and train fictional creatures, Pokémon, to battle each other. It grew to include trading card games, movies, comic books and toys.
The spin-off animated TV show is perhaps the best-known example of Animé, a Japanese-style of animation. The newest incarnation of the franchise was "Pokemon Go," an augmented reality game for smartphones that took the world by storm in 2016.
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In the early 1990s, three Japanese scientists, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura used semi-conductors to produce high-brightness blue LED light for the first time. LED technology was a revolutionary discovery that went on to be used in TV, mobile, and computer screens -- reducing their energy usage. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Japanese company Kawasaki introduced the first commercially successful jet ski in 1972. The models in the 70s and 80s were designed for one person to skim across the water. At the time the early models were described as tiring and difficult to handle. John G. Zimmerman/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
The rather chunky Canon "Pocketronic" was the first hand-held, battery-powered printing electronic calculator. Introduced in 1970 it could easily be transported, as opposed to the desktop calculators previously used. ullstein bild/Getty Images
The Epson HX-20 laptop was the world's first hand-held computer. Launched in 1982, it features a full size keyboard, LCD screen, printer and built-in rechargeable batteries. Future Publishing/Getty Images
The Imperial Japanese Navy ship Hosho, which entered service in 1922, was the world's first purpose-built naval aircraft carrier. Kure Maritime Museum
The first commercially available car navigation system was released in 1981 by Japanese company Honda. It was called the Electro Gyro-Cator and used inertial navigation systems. This system is not based on satellites. But if you knew the distanced traveled, the start point and the direction your were heading, then the sat nav could guide you. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The first attempts at 3D printing were in the 1980s, when it was known as Rapid Prototyping technology. Hideo Kodama was the first to publish an account of the technique. Sichuan Revotek