Japan’s best minds have contributed quite a few important inventions to the world over the years. Did you know that the portable ECG machine was invented in Japan, for example? So were electric rice cookers, DSLR cameras, CD players, Blu-ray discs, and gaming systems. Really, the list of Japanese tech that has become integral to our daily lives goes on and on.

However, if you ask Japanese people which invention their country should be proud of, it turns out a far humbler product jumps to mind for most: instant noodles.

Five hundred Japanese, split evenly between men and women, were asked in a survey which home-grown inventions they thought Japan should be proud of. They weren’t given a list but rather asked to come up with ideas on their own. The result? An astonishing 57% of Japanese responded that Japan should be proud of instant noodles!

Perhaps instant ramen isn’t saving any lives, but you have to admit in terms of cultural cachet, it’s been a huge success. The appeal of having a hot, tasty meal just by adding a little water seems to be nearly universal, with over 100 BILLION packets being consumed around the world each year. Not a trace of the Galapagos syndrome there! Inventor Momofuku Ando tapped into a world-wide demand with that one.

The next closest competitor for Japanese pride is the blue LED light, for which inventor Shuji Nakamura won a Nobel Prize in 2013. Despite recent blanket coverage of the award, however, only 41.4% of respondents mentioned it.

Rounding out the top 10 are washlet toilets (36.8%), automatic ticket gates (27.2%), karaoke (25%), curry in a pouch (21.2%), dry-cell batteries and electric rice cookers (21% each), endoscope cameras (20%), and mechanical pencils and erasable ink pens (19.6% each).

No love for AIBO, I guess.

How about you, dear readers? What Japanese invention gets you twitterpated and waxing rhapsodic?

H/T Otaku.com, Excite News
Top image: cyclonebill / Wiki Commons